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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Operational Guidance

Our Conduct and Behaviour: customer service to disabled people: health and safety issues

Under the Equality Act 2010 we must make any reasonable adjustments required to ensure a person with a physical or mental impairment is not treated less favourably than any other person, because they are disabled.

You should also consider health and safety issues that may arise as a result of your compliance checks and remember that many mental health conditions are exacerbated by stress. The additional stress of a compliance check can have a significant impact on a person’s ability to deal with their tax affairs. For example, when experiencing depression, a person can feel overwhelming despair, guilt and worthlessness. Problems concentrating and remembering things can make life very difficult and undermine the simplest tasks resulting in a loss of motivation and control. On rare occasions this may result in a person becoming violent or abusive or they may even threaten to injure themselves.

The guidance at COG11400 explains what you should do in these circumstances to ensure the health and safety of the customer.

The guidance at COG11500 and HR62040 details the steps you should undertake when considering your personal safety whilst attending meetings away from the office.

Where a person mentions a physical or mental impairment you must ask them whether they would like to be represented by an agent, family member, friend or a charity such as TaxAid, see COG11360.