The term “dizziness” describes a range of sensations. They typically include feeling faint, woozy, sick, weak or unsteady. Everyone experiences feeling dizzy at some point in their life, but many people experience dizziness consistently and even on a daily basis. This is referred to as chronic dizziness.
There are many possible underlying factors for chronic dizziness and it can be a symptom of larger, over-arching conditions or disabilities. We will talk about these in more detail further down this page. Regardless of what causes chronic dizziness, it is an important problem to be aware of. Many people suffer from these symptoms for a significant portion of their life and that means it influences many aspects of their life, including work and employment.
At Careers with Disabilities, we want to help spread awareness of different conditions and disabilities. In this way, we can make it easier in the world of work for these people. Awareness holds the key to better support at work. The more we know, understand, and empathise, the better we are at supporting disabled people.
So, on this page of our Disability Advice Hub, we are going to talk more about chronic dizziness. Specifically so in how it can be managed at work. Both from the perspectives of employees and employers. As we know already ,both sides of the coin need to work in harmony for things to go well.
Let’s start with what it is like for employees to deal with this condition on a chronic basis.
Working With Chronic Dizziness
If you are prone to frequent dizzy spells and suffer from chronic dizziness, chances are that this affects your ability to work. Chronic dizziness can impact your ability to:
- Travel to work
- Work fixed hours
- Stand up for periods of time during work
- Attend meetings and group activities
- Concentrate on your work tasks
- Submit tasks on a deadline
- Feel well at work
Your condition may cause you to:
- Need more frequent and more flexible breaks
- Take time off from work
- Need time to visit the doctor/undergo treatments
- Require a comfortable work set-up where you can sit/lie down
- Avoid larger meetings where you can’t leave or rest easily
- Feel anxiety at work
Working with chronic dizziness certainly isn’t easy. If it is something that affects you from carrying out your daily tasks on a long-term basis, it is even something that could be classified as a disability. This is something worth talking to your GP about so that you can begin to get more support. It is important to recognise when you do need more support and to go out and get it.
When we recognise that what we are going through is difficult and impactful, we can allow ourselves to receive the support we need. Chronic dizziness at work is something that needs to be appropriately managed. Employees dealing with the condition will need certain modifications to their environment and job role so that they can work comfortably and safely. Anything less simply isn’t enough.
Under the Equality Act of 2010, you are entitled to reasonable adjustments if you are dealing with a long-term health condition that impacts your ability to live and work. These could be a number of different things. Some good examples for people with chronic dizziness include:
- Reduction of job duties and removal of any duties that may be dangerous, i.e. driving or operating machinery
- Allowing flexible breaks
- Permitting time off for doctor’s appointments and treatments
- Flexible working hours/remote working options
- Offering a safe space within work to rest/recover
- Training and awareness for other employees and colleagues
You are within your legal rights to request any of these reasonable adjustments. Where your employer can reasonably offer them, they must do so.
You may also be entitled to financial support to help you with support that falls outside the realms of reasonable adjustments. If you require extra transport to get to work, for example, you can claim back your expenses through the Access to Work scheme if you are eligible.
Disclosing Your Condition
It is important to note at this point that not everyone feels comfortable disclosing health conditions to employers. Especially not early on in your time working together. It is understandable why you might feel this way and you should remember you are under no obligation to do so. However, disclosing your condition can be the thing that gets you the support you need.
When you are open and honest with your employer about your chronic dizziness, it can really help. It puts you in the position to get what you need. It also allows all of the appropriate protocols to take place.
If you can, open up to your employer and allow them to help you.
If you can’t do this, you might need to think more about why that is. If your employer isn’t inclusive and accessible, it might be time to get a new one. One who can accept and support disabled workers. To find this kind of employer, you can head over to our live disability-friendly job board and take a peek at our list of inclusive, accessible, equal company profiles.
Advice for Employers
If you are an employer who works with someone dealing with chronic dizziness, you have already taken a great step by taking a look at our disability advice hub. The more we can get employers to learn about and understand disability, the better.
Disabled employees have been shown to hold so many benefits for employers and businesses. If you are missing out on valuable workers because you aren’t inclusive, you are doing yourself a disservice. Learning as much as you can about the conditions your employees deal with helps you help them. It allows them to be happy at work and hopefully stay with your company for a long time, which is a great thing for everyone involved.
If you want to help an employee with chronic dizziness, the best thing to start with is to listen. Listen to their point of view and what they need. Having an open and authentic dialogue between employer-employee can help everyone. When you know what your employee needs, you can get to work on providing the reasonable adjustments that will help.
Every time you support a disabled employee properly, you work on creating a wider work policy of inclusion and acceptance. This has positive repercussions in many different ways, both for you and your team.
Being an inclusive Disability-Friendly employer is a powerful thing. Why not see how Careers with Disabilities can help you on your journey? Check out the services we offer employers, right here.