Our Training Manager, Nicola Milne provides information on our new Epilepsy for Employers course designed for managers, HR Personnel and people supporting someone with epilepsy in the workplace.
According to the UK Government unemployment is at its lowest since the 1970s.
However, despite this disabled people still struggle to find and stay in work.
People living with epilepsy can struggle to find employment more than many other disabled people.
According to figures from the Office for National Statistics, people with epilepsy have one of the lowest rates of employment among disabled people.
Just over 34% of people identified epilepsy as their “main” health condition are in employment.
To help increase the chances of people with epilepsy earning employment, we have launched a new half day Epilepsy for Employers course designed for managers, HR personnel and also anyone involved in supporting someone with epilepsy in the workplace.
The course covers:
- Epilepsy awareness
- Seizure triggers
- Seizure management
- Legal obligations
- Reasonable adjustments
- Risk management
- Occupational Health
- First aid
- Impact of the condition
It should matter more that you have the right qualifications, skills and experience rather than your medical condition.
Employers could be missing out on high quality candidates who can add value to their business just because they are living with epilepsy.
Simply making some reasonable adjustments can make a big difference to someone who has epilepsy.
- Changing your starting and finishing times to allow your employee to catch a bus to and from work, if they can’t drive because of their epilepsy.
- Allowing them to take regular breaks if their seizures are triggered by being tired.
- Allowing them to start later in the day if their seizures usually happen first thing in the morning.
The above are just some examples of reasonable adjustments, which can be made to help someone with epilepsy feel more comfortable at work and have little impact in affecting your business.
The Equality Act 2010 replaced The Disability Discrimination Act and gave people with a disability greater rights.
Also, no job advertisement should discriminate against disabled people. This includes epilepsy.
Discrimination can be direct and indirect. It is not always easy to spot indirect discrimination.
An indirect way this could happen for a person with epilepsy is if a job advert asks for the person to hold a driving licence, even if it is not a genuine requirement for the job.
This unfairly discriminates against people who may not be able to drive due to their epilepsy.
This should only be asked for if driving takes up a significant portion of the job and there is no way around this eg use of public transport or a support driver.
Also, the Equality Act states that an employer must not ask about a job applicant’s health until that person has been offered the job.
There are some exceptions to the rules on pre-employment health questions.
This includes those joining the armed forces, and anyone being vetted for work for reasons of national security.
Our new Epilepsy for Employers course looks at the legal obligations in more detail.
To find out more about the Epilepsy for Employers course, please email Nicola Milne at NMilne@epilepsyscotland.org.uk or call 0131 659 4730.