A valuable employee is worth supporting. They know their job and replacing them would be costly and time-consuming.
Your legal responsibilities to an employee with M.E. include the standard obligations under an employee’s contract of employment, plus the additional responsibilities towards people with long-term fluctuating conditions covered by the Equality Act 2010.
This states that it is unlawful to treat someone less favourably than you would others because that person has a disability, such as M.E. You are obliged to make reasonable adjustments for such an employee or potential employee, or you may be liable under anti-discrimination legislation.
For people with mild or moderate M.E., the earlier reasonable adjustments are made, the easier it will be for them to remain productive.
Potential changes to physical features, eg. making premises wheelchair accessible or providing practical aids and equipment to help the disabled person do their job, may be funded through the Access to Work Programme.
Our SEE M.E. (Support, Empower and Employ people with M.E.) pilot project for people living in Bristol, North Somerset, Gloucestershire and South Gloucester will run from April 2015 to June 2016.
The project, delivered jointly with the specialist CFS/M.E. clinic at North Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, is aimed solely at those people with M.E. who identify themselves as well enough to consider being in, or returning to, employment, volunteering or training. It will also support those who need to stop work due to illness.
We know that, for some, thinking about working or entering education is sadly not an option, and we will of course continue to support these individuals through our other support services.
Through delivery of this project, we aim to develop and demonstrate good practices in integrated support for people with M.E./CFS, raising aspirations and helping individuals to achieve their goals in relation to employment.