The information in this section is about epilepsy and working in the UK. If you live outside the UK, you can find out about working and epilepsy in your country by contacting your local epilepsy group.
This information is about looking for and staying in work. It looks at your rights in the workplace and ways the workplace can become more epilepsy-friendly. This might be down to reasonable adjustments being made after you have had a health and safety risk assessment (see below). Or by changing employer or employee attitudes to epilepsy. It also tells you how you can take action if you feel you are being treated unfairly at work.
Am I considered to be disabled if I have epilepsy?
You are classed as disabled by the equality laws if you have epilepsy that has a substantial effect on your day-to-day activities. Or would have a substantial effect, if you were not taking your epilepsy medicine.
If you have a type of epilepsy that is not currently causing any problems and doesn’t need epilepsy medicine, but could be triggered by specific certain circumstances, then you are likely to be covered. Some common triggers for epileptic seizures are:
- Feeling tired
- Not getting enough sleep
Epilepsy Action has more information about things that trigger seizures
The equality laws are called the Equality Act in England, Scotland and Wales and the Disability Discrimination Act in Northern Ireland. They apply to you whether or not you take epilepsy medicines.
- Job adverts
- Application forms
- Job offers
- Conditions of employment
Epilepsy Action has more information about the equality laws
Epilepsy in the workplace - a TUC Guide
Epilepsy Action has worked have worked in partnership with the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to produce Epilepsy in the workplace – a TUC guide. This is to make sure their union representatives have an awareness of epilepsy, and the knowledge to advise people with epilepsy at work. The guide includes suggestions for making reasonable adjustments, if any are needed.
If you would like to see this information with references, visit the Advice and Information references section of our website.
Epilepsy Action would like to thank Epilepsy Action would like to thank Professor Sayeed Khan, Specialist in Occupational Medicine, Chief Medical Adviser to EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation and Judith Hogarth, Solicitor, Excello Law, for their contribution.
This information has been produced under the terms of The Information Standard.
- Updated October 2015To be reviewed October 2018