The Unique Challenges of Workplace Accommodation for Psychiatric Disabilities
The Duty to Accommodate Mental Disability. 5 Practical Tips to Help Employers Mentally Prepare May 11, 2018 Michael Murphy, Lawyer at McInnes Cooper It can be challenging for employers to fulfill their legal duty to accommodate an employee under human rights laws regardless of the nature of request — but particularly so when the request is to accommodate a mental disability. Yet the growing prevalence of mental illness makes it critical that employers understand their duty to accommodate mental disability in the workplace. Recent years have seen a laudable effort to increase visibility and understanding of mental illness and accommodating mental disabilities in the workplace disabilities it causes. But despite this, employers can still find it challenging to satisfy their duty to accommodate mental disability in the workplace. Here are five practical tips to help employers satisfy their duty to accommodate mental disability.
schizophrenia accommodationsShare this Mental Illness and the Workplace. How to Accommodate Employees Organizations have made great progress to accommodate individuals with physical disabilities, but do HR professionals have the skills and knowledge to address the concerns of workers with mental impairments? Several high-profile suicides in recent months have brought renewed attention to the issue of mental health. Greenlees says her organization is handling more calls from organizations looking for advice on how to comply with rules governing mental health and employment. For example, someone who experiences periodic panic attacks may be permitted to have a support animal or take additional breaks when necessary.
With the protections provided to employees, through both privacy and human rights legislation, many employers are reluctant to inquire into the personal circumstances of an employee, as they are unsure of their legal right to do so. In cases of mental health, however, employers may have a legal duty to make inquiries. Two of the most common forms of mental illness are depression and anxiety disorders. According to 2012 figures from Statistics Canada, 4.
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The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that one in five people will experience a psychiatric disability in their lifetime, and one in four Americans currently knows someone who has a psychiatric disability. It is likely that most employers have at least one employee with a psychiatric disability.
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