Epilepsy Smart Workplaces

Workplace Initiative

Epilepsy Smart Workplaces

The Problem

People living with epilepsy report significant unfair treatment as a result of their epilepsy.  The context of the unfair treatment is by far the greatest in the workplace (47%) and the form of unfair treatment is predominantly discrimination followed by exclusion.  (2010 Australian Epilepsy Longitudinal Survey)

Many examples of ignorance and poor understanding of epilepsy in a work context were reported.

“With one of my jobs, they cut back my shifts because the new boss was scared of my seizures, and my pay was not right for a
while because then I had to be with someone at work and I was paid at a lower rate.” 

Despite achieving high levels of education, people with epilepsy find it hard to get full time employment.

Our Approach

Our approach to addressing this problem is focused; we have:

  • A desired impact we want to achieve – Increased employment for people with epilepsy.
  • Clear outcomes we want to achieve – Increased participation and decreased discrimination.
  • Strong short term interventions goals – To partner with high profile employers promoting employment of people with epilepsy .
  • Clear long term intervention goals – Build understanding of epilepsy in organisations and social norms marketing.

Next Steps

The steps we plan to take to tackle this initiative include:

  • identify employment partner/s
  • secure funding support for the initiative
  • develop internal communications and education strategy with employers
  • launch the Epilepsy Smart Workplace program.

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