Migraine in the Workplace

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Is Migraine a Disability?

Impairments, such as migraine, can count as a disability if the adverse effect on the individual is substantial and long-term. As per The Equality Act 2010 employers are required to make reasonable adjustments to jobs and workplaces for disabled workers to ensure they have equal opportunities in applying for and staying in work. However, we know that in reality this ‘disability’ can be difficult to prove and in some circumstances it can be hard for migraineurs to reach their full potential professionally.

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Approximately 25 million working days are lost each year to due to migraine, at an estimated cost to the UK economy of £2.25 billion.

Migraine sufferers can face many challenges in the workplace, from triggers in the work space, to an inaccurate understanding of migraine from colleagues and employers, to a high sickness record leading to disciplinary action.

Unfortunately, matters can also be compounded by the fact that migraine has become one of the most popular excuses for “pulling a sickie” from work*, leaving those with genuine migraine often receiving unfair treatment.

It can also be difficult for employers to know how to help migraine sufferers effectively, without discriminating against other employees.

Migraine Action is here to help!

For further information on managing migraine in the workplace for both employers and employees (including information on rights and responsibilities), order our ‘Migraine in the Workplace’ booklet.


 (*YouGov Poll of 2105 people, 2009)

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