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For employers and managers

Supporting people with M.E. at work

When you are recruiting or seeking to retain an employee who has M.E. you are likely to have some questions about how you can support them to achieve the most in their role.

M.E. is a complex and fluctuating condition. While some living with the condition are simply too ill to work, others can manage their symptoms effectively enough to remain in work, either on a full time or part time basis.

By far the best predictor of a good outcome for all concerned is the use of a collaborative approach that keeps communication at the forefront; focusing on solutions rather than problems and makes use of all available expertise. Using this approach we have seen many cases in which employers have successfully supported valued employees and gained insight which will inform similar situations in the future, should they arise.

For more information, support and advice, please download our booklet, An employer's guide to M.E., and signpost your employee to our M.E. and work resource.

Our Information and Support team also welcomes calls and emails from anyone supporting a colleague or employee with M.E. We can share resources and signpost to sources of support.

Colleagues with M.E.

While some people with M.E. are too ill to work at all, others can do so with the right support in place. This means that your colleague with M.E. may ask for reasonable adjustments to the way they previously might have worked, including changes to the working environment, their workload, flexible hours and time keeping, regular review meetings and support from an occupational health professional.

These adjustments aim to remove or reduce the impact of M.E. on your colleague so they can do their job. Some adjustments that your manager agrees to may mean changes for you and your team - often for the better. Taking just a bit of time to understand M.E. and its impact could help your colleague and your team work better together.

If you are concerned about a colleague or would like to find out more about how you can raise awareness of M.E. at work, please get in touch.