In severe cases, someone with SAD may end up taking a significant amount of time off work. In this case, employers can refer employees who have been off work for four weeks or more to Fit for Work. They will then have a 45-minute consultation with a trained health professional, who will explore in-depth the way they are feeling and what they think is stopping them from doing their job successfully. Working with the employee, the Fit for Work health professional will draw up a Return to Work Plan which can then be shared with the employer, and will contain suggestions of workplace adjustments which may help those suffering from SAD to return to work.
Some of these workplace adjustments could be as simple as installing a light box in the office, which are designed to simulate sunshine and help to increase the production of serotonin, improving someone’s mood; or ensuring employees suffering from SAD sit nearest windows while at work; and even adjusting working hours so that employees with SAD leaves the office before it gets dark at night.
Employers looking for help for employees with SAD symptoms can also call the Fit for Work advice line on 0800 032 6235, or visit the website.