In October 2023 the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) updated its guidance on 'supporting mental health at work', with a new subsection entitled 'having a policy' which sets out what an employer's mental health policy should include. This article examines the updated guidance and how employers can look to improve or draft their mental health policies.
Disability History Month: ACAS Updated Guidance on Supporting Mental Health at Work
DISABILITY HISTORY MONTH RUNS FROM 16 NOVEMBER TO 16 DECEMBER 2023.
For our final article that spotlights disability issues, we focus on the new updated ACAS guidance on supporting mental health.
Mental health and the Equality Act 2010
In our previous articles, we looked at the definition of disability under the Equality Act 2010. Poor mental health will be experienced differently by each individual, such that it is not automatically considered to be a disability. However, early employer engagement with Occupational Health or other medical experts will be helpful in understanding how an employee can be best supported, regardless of disability status.
It is critical that employers are equipped with the awareness and tools to address poor mental health amongst employees. The Stevenson / Farmer review of mental health and employers, titled 'Thriving at work' believed that the number of people leaving employment due to mental health each year could be reduced by a third through implementation of "mental health core standards", which closely reflect the updated ACAS guidance. A considered mental health policy, which reflects this best practice, could therefore be of huge benefit to both employees and employers alike.
The contributors to this article were Kelly Brown, Gill Hutchison and Sophie Mitchell.
If you need any support or advice on supporting mental health in the workplace, please feel free to get in touch with one of the key contacts on this page.
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