As part of our Employment Campaign, our Helpline and Information Officer, Uschi, shares some of Epilepsy Scotland’s resources designed to support people with epilepsy and their employers.
Finding out what your rights are and how to challenge an employer when you think you’ve been treated unfairly because of your epilepsy can be a daunting prospect.
That is what we are here for. When you phone our helpline 0808 800 2200 or contact us by other means, we can help you work out what your next steps should be.
We can signpost you to some of our publications or other agencies which can give you more information about employment and your rights under the Equality Act because of your epilepsy.
We also welcome calls from employers who want to find out more about epilepsy, and how to support an employee with their epilepsy.
It is always heartening to speak to employers who really want to support their employees as best they can.
Issues related to employment
Our helpline receives many calls from people struggling with issues related to their employment.
There is no time limit on calls, and you can talk to us without any pressure.
Sometimes sharing your experience and having someone listen to you without judgment can help you work out what your next step should be.
”You really understand. I was going into a very difficult meeting at work and I was struggling to go in. I rang while I was sitting in the car park. Thank you so much for listening. Can’t tell you how much it helped.” (helpline client)
Work is such a big and often important part of our lives. When things go wrong, it can escalate very quickly, causing huge amounts of stress and anxiety.
This, not surprisingly, can sometimes trigger further seizures. That’s when you need to talk to someone.
We also have publications that may help you when looking for or already in work, or if you are an employer.
Take a look at our Epilepsy and Occupational health Guide. It was initially written for employers by an occupational health specialist providing guidance to employers on how best to support an employee with epilepsy.
It covers basic facts about epilepsy in the workplace, factors to consider when doing a risk assessment, and also makes clear legal responsibilities of employers to comply with the Equality Act and Health and Safety at Work legislation.
Many employees also find this guide really helpful as it explains their rights and the measures and support they should be expecting at work, allowing them to speak to employers with confidence and possibly challenge any decisions.
Our factsheet on the Equality Act also summarises some key features of this act, many of which are relevant to employment situations.
If you need a quick summary of your rights under the Equality Act, this factsheet might be what you are looking for.
It pays to know your rights because this makes communicating and negotiating with your employer more effective and relevant.
Our factsheet on Staying healthy at work gives you useful information on how to look after yourself at work, minimising possible risks of seizures.
Knowledge is empowering. Let us help you and/or signpost you to those who can give you more specific information and employment advice, such as ACAS.
If you are stuck in an employment situation which causes you a lot of stress, make that first step and contact us on our helpline 0808 800 2200.