The Epilepsy Action Mark of Quality, for employers who have been trained to support staff with epilepsy, is being launched this week (November 1).
The ‘Mark of Quality’ will show that employers ensure colleagues work in a safe environment and understand how best to support them.
Research from Epilepsy Action shows that about 40% of working-age people living with epilepsy are in work. To improve this, the charity says employers need to have better knowledge to support people in their business living with epilepsy.
Epilepsy Action’s training modules aimed at businesses cover three levels. The basic level is called Epilepsy Aware, the next step up is titled Epilepsy Confident and the final level, Epilepsy Positive, represents the highest standard.
Each level reflects the training undertaken, with Epilepsy Aware covering basic epilepsy knowledge for staff. Epilepsy Confident includes information for line managers on how to support staff living with the condition.
Epilepsy Positive is earned by undertaking a masterclass for human resources and equality diversity and inclusion specialists. This level covers the legal implications, including the Health and Safety at Work Act, the Equality Act, and how to ensure staff are supported with reasonable adjustments, care plans, personal emergency evacuation plans and more.
The purpose of the Epilepsy Action Mark of Quality is to help employers look after staff and build confidence and trust with people who have epilepsy. These people often have the necessary knowledge and skills but are overlooked because of stigma.
Epilepsy Action’s research showed that 42% of employers would be inclined not to hire someone with epilepsy for fear of challenges to their business, despite knowing this to be discrimination.
Deputy chief executive Rebekah Smith said: “We want more people with epilepsy who can work to get the opportunities they deserve, get the jobs they want and succeed in their careers. To do this, we need attitudes to change now.”
Could your company benefit from training to improve your skills and knowledge in employing and supporting people with epilepsy? You can explore the courses here.