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Epilepsy Action
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Work stress + seizures

i have recently had 2 seizures (even though i am on medication) which i know is due to work stress as my biggest triggers are stress and lack of sleep. my employer cut my hours which will now put me in financial difficulty when they were not meant to be allowed to and then tried to change my shift patterns to which i said no as had other people yet my shift was changed on the rota ( luckily when i explained no again the issue seemed to be dropped) i had informed a manager i was very stressed and that could trigger a seizure yet no adjustments were made and no offer of support was made. my manager seems very keen to get rid of me and after being signed off this week by a doctor after my seizure i am concerned when i return to work my employer is going to try ad dismiss me. is this allowed? i also realized my employer has never asked me about my epilepsy or done a risk assessment or even asked what to do in the event of a seizure could i complain to the union about this?

5 Replies

Hi it's a difficult one....you could maybe talk to the union, are you having your medications reviewed? hopefully your under a neurologist for your treatment but if not your Doctor should refer you to one as sometimes it's not always due to stress that attacks reoccur. Employers usually have very little understanding about Epilepsy or the side/effects including memory and mood, and many don't want to know and would rather employ somebody else, with this mind you need to be careful how you tackle this. My wife is the one with severe Epilepsy and she's never be able to work but I have talked to others in a similar situation.


Hi Paul, Sorry to change the subject briefly but how bad is your wife's epilepsy? I thought mine was pretty bad. It would possibly be helpful to compare?




I think it would definitely be a good idea to contact your union. Because you have epilepsy your employer has a duty to do a risk assessment for you. Then they have to consider any possible reasonable adjustments.

You may also want to contact ACAS. This is an organisation that can tell you about your rights at work. They could give you important information to talk through with a Union rep.

As Paul has said, stress can be a trigger for seizures for some people. But any possible reasonable adjustments because of this would need to be negotiated between you and your employer. They do not actually have to provide these.

I hope this is useful. You could always ring our freephone epilepsy helpline on 0808 800 505 if it would help to talk this through.


Advice and Information Team

Epilepsy and work: epilepsy.org.uk/info/employ...

ACAS: acas.org.uk/index.aspx?arti...

Seizure triggers: epilepsy.org.uk/info/triggers


No you are not allowed to be sacked for this but be aware ther are other ways they can sack you I worked for the NHS for 10 years and they spent 3 years trying to sack me before they had built up a case against me to sack me for other reasons and I have been out of work now since April. I doubt I will get another job now as it is so hard.They sacked me when my stress became so bad I had another fit and was in hospital for 6 nights and signed off for 3 weeks I never went back. Good luckwith it all and hope your boss is better than the NHS


I do know that they cannot discriminate in this way against you. Some where in a policy you can get these disciplined during a tribunal. But the thing is if you lose and the boss wins they might fire as have heard a boss tell me some thing like what they would do.


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