This page describes best practice. It does not explain the law

6. Develop skills, knowledge and understanding

As an employer, make sure managers have the right skills, knowledge and behaviours to support disabled workers and those with long-term health conditions appropriately. We will refer to both as 'workers' in this guidance.

Managers include:

  • supervisors
  • line managers
  • business owners
  • managers of functions
  • secretaries

A trusting relationship between managers and their workers is important to:

  • help workers reach their potential
  • keep workers in your business
  • support return to work after sickness absence

Managers can often spot changes in behaviour or performance. This may show that a worker needs support. Some situations can be complex and unique to an individual. Managers should have the knowledge to point workers to information on workplace practices.

Training and development

Make sure managers always have access to formal training plans. This will help them develop their skills and knowledge throughout their employment.

Your instruction, information and training for managers should include:

  • HR policies/procedures
  • health and safety policies/procedures
  • disability awareness
  • generic management skills
  • mental health awareness
  • communication skills

Encourage your managers to do continuous professional development. This will help them to keep skills and learn new ones.

Encourage good management behaviours

Encouraging managers to apply good management behaviours, like:

  • being open, fair and consistent
  • managing conflicts and problems
  • providing knowledge, clarity and guidance
  • building and sustaining relationships
  • supporting development
  • challenging and addressing poor behaviour in peers or workers

Talk to your workers regularly. This will help you understand if you need to improve anything at work.

Provide support for managers

You need to make sure managers have appropriate support. Think about how managers can access additional training or advice if they need to. You can provide this internally or externally, or point to free resources online.