Top tips for working with epilepsy
Our channel marketing manager, Carl Charlesworth, gives some helpful tips for people with epilepsy who are already working or are starting work.
Negotiating the world of work can be tricky for many of us, but it can be even trickier if you have epilepsy. If you have epilepsy and you work, you're about to start work or you're thinking of getting back into work, read our top tips below.
Tip 1 - Telling people about your epilepsy
Remember, you don’t have to tell an employer about your epilepsy but for employers to be able to meet health and safety regulations, they need to know whether their employees have any medical conditions that could affect their work.
If your employer knows about your epilepsy they can consider making adjustments to your work or environment for you and organising epilepsy awareness training. If your colleagues know about your epilepsy they can also help if you do have a seizure in the office.
Tip 2 - Find out how the law affects you
Before you start working anywhere make sure you understand your rights and the responsibilities of your employer to your health and safety. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 says that employers are responsible for making sure that all their employees are safe at work and are protected from possible dangers to their health. However, if you don't tell them about your epilepsy, you cannot hold them responsible for not making adjustments for you.
People with epilepsy are also covered by the Equality Act which aims to protect people against disability discrimination in the workplace. Because Epilepsy is a physical, long-term condition, people with epilepsy are protected under the Equality Act, even if their seizures are controlled or if they don’t consider themselves to be ‘disabled’.
Tip 3 - Help is available
There's organisations out there ready to help you with any questions or issues you have around work. Here's a few of them:
- Jobcentre Plus have Disability Employment Advisers (DEAs) who provide support to people with disabilities
- Access to Work is a scheme that supports people with disabilities and their employers
- Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) offer free confidential and independent advice to people needing information around employment law
- Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) – advice for employers and employees
- Epilepsy Society helpline - our specialist helpline is here to help anyone affected by epilepsy
If you have any other questions around working with epilepsy please email us firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also find further information on work and employment on our website, including types of jobs and information for employers.