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  • Saskia Müller

How Employers can Help People With Seizures

Having a seizure disorder does not automatically mean you can’t work. In fact, many people we speak to are currently in work or are looking for work.

Given that there is a current staffing crisis across all sectors, it would be foolish to ignore a talented and experienced pool of people who currently live with a health condition or disability, such as a seizure disorder like epilepsy.

Yes, sadly many people who have seizures are unable to work, but a lot of the time that is down to not having a willing workforce or being given a fair chance.

A lot of the time it’s down to a total lack of understanding of seizures and a good dose of prejudice and stigma.


Mistakes many employers make

The mistake many employers make is assuming that everyone with seizures are the same.

Then there’s often the assumption that a seizure is always a tonic-clonic seizure and that people bounce back almost immediately once a seizure is over.


Making an employee with seizures feel valued and supported

It doesn’t have to be complicated to make an employee with a seizure disorder feel valued and supported.

Based on the many conversations I’ve had around employment, here’s my top list of easy suggestions for employers:

  • Know what the Equality Act says.

  • Assume nothing, everyone’s experience is different.

  • Have a chat with your employee to find out more about their disorder. What does it mean for them, what type of seizures do they have, do they get a warning, do they have a trigger, and what does their recovery look like?

  • Refer your employee for an occupational health assessment to find out what further support you can give your employee.

  • Make a reasonable adjustment(s), which may just make the difference between that person being able to stay in their job or having to leave.

  • Make sure managers and staff are first-aid aware, recognise a seizure, and know how to help.

You could lose out on a highly skilled and experienced individual if you ignore those with seizures. And, of course, you could find yourself on the wrong side of the Equality Act.

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