In the case of Croft Vets Limited & others v Butcher, the EAT decided that because an employer’s psychiatrist recommended that the employer pay for an employee to have further sessions with him and additional sessions with a clinical psychologist to help facilitate the employee’s return to work, the employer should have funded such sessions as a reasonable adjustment to facilitate the employee’s return to work.
What does the ruling mean?
Employers should be aware that the decision in this case relates to the payment of a particular form of private medical treatment which enabled the employee to return to work and deal with work-related stress. This can be distinguished from situations involving the payment of private medical treatment in general.
What action should employers take?
It is well established law that an employer is required to make reasonable adjustments to enable a disabled employee to return to work. In deciding what amounts to a reasonable adjustment, an employer needs to bear in mind any recommendations by medical practitioners, as well as obtaining specific legal advice.