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Employers – information

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Arthritis means inflammation of the joints. It affects around 10 million people in the UK and it can affect people of all ages. There are around 200 types of arthritis – two of the more common forms are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

The causes of arthritis are complex, and many are still unknown. While there is no cure, sometimes arthritis gets better on its own or as a result of treatment. However, most people with arthritis will be affected to varying degrees over many years. It can be difficult for doctors to tell which course arthritis will take as it is a fluctuating condition.

You can find out more about arthritis on this website.

How does arthritis affect people?

Most people with arthritis will experience pain and difficulty moving around. Arthritis can cause loss of strength and grip, stiffness and fatigue. These can make some daily tasks difficult.

Pain can be felt in places other than the affected joint – for example, someone with arthritis in the hip may feel pain in their knee. For the majority of people, there will be some good days and some bad days.

However, many people with arthritis will be able to successfully manage their symptoms, continue to work and have a good quality of life.

Does arthritis affect how people do their job?

Many people with arthritis are able to work, but need help or some kind of workplace adjustment.  Everyone’s needs are different and it is not helpful to make general assumptions about a person’s abilities because they have arthritis.

If you want to find out more, Arthritis Care run Arthritis Awareness courses for employers and their staff to help them understand the needs of people with arthritis.

Employees with arthritis

One in five people of working age is disabled or has a long-term health condition; you probably already employ someone in this category and they may be among your best employees. There are some compelling arguments for employing disabled people:

  • disabled employees have a strong commitment to work and tend to stay in the job for longer
  • disabled employees have good punctuality and low absentee records
  • by not considering a disabled person for a role you could be limiting your chance of finding the best person for the job
  • it is often more cost-effective to retain an employee who has become disabled, than recruit and train a new person
  • staff morale may increase if an organisation is viewed as more inclusive

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