Guide for Dealing with Epilepsy in the Workplace
Epilepsy is one of the worlds most common neurological conditions with 241, 692 people of working age with epilepsy in the UK with numbers increasing. If employees disclose they have epilepsy during the recruitment process or whilst in employment, it is important not to make assumptions about how epilepsy will affect an individual. Each person is unique and there are over 40 types of seizures and epileptic syndromes and so everyone’s condition is different.
This guide, produced by Occupational Health experts and Epilepsy Scotland, points out there is still a lot of uncertainty around epilepsy. Many managers, safety and the general public will probably have outdated ideas about epilepsy so guidance is important for dealing with individuals who have this condition.
What’s in the Guide?
This practical guide tells employers they need to know about epilepsy and helps employers and employees get the most out of occupational health. It makes clear the legal responsibilities of employers, going on to describes best practice measures. All of which, help employees with epilepsy to have all possible support.
The guide also includes tools that can help organisations with keeping people safe at work and ensuring that the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 are not breached.
You might also need a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEPS) which applies to anyone who has a disability. The PEEP is essential for getting people evacuated from a building in an emergency. This is needed for the risk assessment under the Management of Health and Safety Regulations 1999 but also the first time the issue has been addressed. The plan identifies help the employee needs to escape to a place of safety and who helps and how. It aims to give employers the necessary information to ensure the right level of assistance is always available.
The employer has to prepare the PEEP, using information about the employee’s needs. There are two steps:
- Collecting information from a questionnaire which the employee completes, and
- Using this information to write up the plan
The guidance covers other general issues that cause concern and suggests solutions. There is information on the likelihood of seizures or issues with safety and work performance but, most important is the effect of medication such as anti-epileptic drugs.
There are links on the website which provides essential information for employers.
Further Advice and Reading
- Epilepsy Advice and Information
- Epilepsy Society
- See also Boots Web MD guidance for clinical information and treatments on epilepsy
- Disability Guidance and Advice from the UK Government
- Disability Guidance from the Health and Safety Executive
- An example of a PEEP by Portsmouth University