Epilepsy and Employment
Employment and job seeking can be one of the biggest challenges people with epilepsy face. Many people with epilepsy are worried about the impact of epilepsy on their ability to find and keep a job. Employers may have preconceived ideas about what epilepsy is, an individual’s ability to do the work and what supports they might need.
Common concerns relating to epilepsy include:
- Stress around whether to disclose their epilepsy to their employer and how to do this
- Anxiety about having a seizure at work
- Concern about possible discrimination or actual discrimination
Other work place issues which can arise can include:
- Relationships with co-workers
- Environment (such as flickering lights, shift work, medical appointments)
- Entering the workforce
Having epilepsy and even having recurring seizures does not usually mean that a person is unable to work. With consideration to each individual’s circumstances (type and frequency of the seizure and how well controlled) and the type of employment, most people will be able to successfully participate in the workforce.
There are some jobs which are not suitable for people who have epilepsy, particularly if their seizures involve loss of consciousness. All employees have rights and responsibilities in the workplace.
Epilepsy Foundation Services
The Epilepsy Foundation has developed the Disclosing Your Epilepsy – getting the job done (PDF 337kb) resource to guide you through the decision making process of whether and how to disclose your epilepsy to an employer.
An Epilepsy Support Worker can discuss your employment concerns with you and may provide information on agencies that can assist in employment. Our Epilepsy Support Workers may also recommend liaising with other services if issues such as discrimination have been identified.
Work place training is available to increase epilepsy awareness and can also include strategies on supporting an individual with epilepsy. This is only done with the consent and engagement of the person with epilepsy.
For more information about employment contact our InfoLine on 1300 761 487.
Other Helpful Resources