Jobs for People With ME

ME stands for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, it is a long-term neurological condition that is most commonly associated with the main symptom of chronic fatigue. It is a condition that affects people in different levels of severity and it can be experienced in bouts, episodes, or fluctuations.

ME is estimated to affect around 250,000 people in the U.K. It is a condition that is gaining more recognition worldwide every year. It is classified as a disability in the U.K. and therefore people living with the condition are entitled to extra support in different areas of life, including employment.

Symptoms of ME

The most common symptoms of ME include:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Needing time to recover after expending energy
  • Still feeling tired after sleeping or resting
  • Sleeping difficulties including frequently waking up in the night
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Irregular heartbeat and/or palpitations
  • Nausea
  • Difficulties with cognition including “brain fog”

What symptoms someone with ME will have can be different for each individual people. Each person will exist on a spectrum of mild-extreme ME and their symptoms will correspond with that scale.

It is important to remember that each person with ME is an individual and we can’t make assumptions about how they are feeling or what they need based on their condition.

How People With ME Can Be Supported at Work?

Some people with ME may not be able to work at all and in this case, they will be entitled to certain financial help from the U.K. government.

Clothes with ME will be able to work but, again, what they do and how much they do of it will depend on the severity and frequency of their symptoms.

In employment, all people with ME will need reasonable adjustments and modifications to make sure that they can safely manage their condition while in employment. It is an employer’s legal duty to carry out these reasonable adjustments under The Equality Act of 2010. 

Some examples of reasonable adjustments that can help support people with ME/CFS include:

  • Part-time work hours or flexi-time
  • Remote working
  • More frequent breaks
  • Comfortable workstation equipment
  • Access to counselling/talking therapy including time off to support this

Whatever an individual employee needs to work at the same level as their colleague needs to be supported by an employer, when appropriate and achievable. If employers need financial help to provide these adjustments, they can work with the Access to Work scheme.

Where Can Find the Best Jobs as Someone With ME?

The best job you can get as someone with ME is with an employer that understands your disability and wants to work with you to manage it appropriately. The best jobs will be those posted by Disability-Friendly employers.

If you want to find those employers, you can look through our directory of accessible, inclusive and diverse company profiles on Careers with Disabilities.

You can also check out our live disability-friendly job board for the opportunities they are posting right now.

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