Managing Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome At Work

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.

Employer Tips

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.

Additional Resources




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