Following the introduction of the 2010 Equality Act “employers must make reasonable adjustments to accommodate a worker with a disability”. Under this act a person is disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.”
Migraines can officially be described as a disability if they are a) long-term e.g. they are a condition that you have had for 12 months or more, and b) if they make it harder or mean that it takes longer to do normal tasks e.g. getting dressed. So what are reasonable adjustments exactly? And how do you go about getting them without getting discriminated against, or worse, fired?
– Providing new or modifying existing equipment and tools.
This could mean things like replacing harsh strip lighting with softer more natural lights, using computers with dimmer screens or improving office furniture so that posture is better and less likely to lead to built up tension resulting in a migraine.
– Varying absence and sickness policies.
The usual disciplinary hearing following long or repeated absences should not be a prerequisite or used in the same way for someone with a recognised disability as opposed to someone who is missing work for an unknown reason. It is far more beneficial for all involved to look at alternative ways of working that will reduce the impact and frequency of absences. This might include some of the following.
– Flexible working hours.
A lot of office work can be done remotely and if done from home can be fitted into the time between attacks far more easily.
– Providing extra support.
This might be stress-management training, providing a buddy or mentor who the sufferer can talk to if they are struggling, or temporary reductions in workloads.
– Allowing a phased return to work.
Your employer has a legal obligation to make reasonable adjustments for you and to provide care and support. However there are better and worse ways to approach the subject with them if you want to get the best results from a tough conversation. Firstly pick your moment carefully. Ideally schedule an informal meeting to discuss the subject, but failing that make sure that you don’t try to talk to them while they are stressing out about their heavy workload. Secondly go in prepared. If you have a list of solutions and suggestions ready for things that could be done to make your job, and therefore their job, easier then they’ll be much more likely to listen and open to the idea of change. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Disability discrimination is illegal. That means direct discrimination such as being passed over for promotion or left out of meetings, but it’s also a failure to make reasonable adjustments.
DISCLAIMER – When using any medication, always read the label and make sure you keep all medicines out of reach of children. The information supplied within this online resource is brought to you by Imigran Recovery Tablets (contains sumatriptan) for migraine relief, from a variety of author sources including health care professionals, lifestyle experts and the general public. None of the published authors endorse any brands.