In the workplace
The fluctuating nature of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.) or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) can make it difficult for someone with the illness to maintain a consistent level of work. A task that is easily manageable one day may prove impossible the next.
Even when a person’s condition appears to have stabilised, it is common for people with M.E. to experience relapses or setbacks, when their health deteriorates again for a period of time. This is likely to happen if they have been pushing themselves too hard.
To optimise their available energy, consider allowing a person with M.E. to:
- change their working hours to avoid rush-hour travel
- work flex or reduced hours
- work from home if possible
- have a fixed shift, where shift-work is involved
- take longer or more frequent breaks away from their desk, computer or
- attend medical appointments during working hours if required.
Such adjustments can enable a person with M.E. to keep their energy expenditure within their baseline, which can be hugely effective in terms of day-to-day reliability, and support improvements in symptoms over the longer term.
You and your employee could consider such adjustments being requested under your Flexible Working policy, which all workers have a right to submit after 26 weeks of continuous employment.