Report highlights job threats for people with arthritis

Report pic

According to a new survey, published by Arthritis Care Scotland and carried out by Glasgow University’s Training & Research Unit, over half of people with arthritis are unable to work because of their condition. The survey report will be launched at the Annual Conference of the Health & Social Care Alliance Scotland on Tuesday 30 May.

More support needed for people working with arthritis

The report, Arthritis and Work, shows that people with arthritis are likely to work for fewer years than the general population. Arthritis Care is calling for a better understanding of the impact of arthritis in the workplace as well as improved access to employment support and disability benefits for people with arthritis.

Director of Arthritis Care Scotland, Angela Donaldson Bruce said, “Whether it’s giving up work, reducing hours or changing duties or jobs, people with arthritis are being forced to make choices they might otherwise not make.  Coping with pain and fatigue is difficult enough but to have your livelihood threatened can be devastating. We urgently need better understanding by employers and more supportive work environments. In particular, people with arthritis have told us that support from managers and colleagues is crucial and that healthcare professionals and employability support services need to play a greater role.

With the number of people with arthritis set to double over the next 15 years, we need to address these workplace issues urgently.”

How work is affected by arthritis

  • Arthritis makes people vulnerable to unemployment or early retirement
  • Pain and fatigue are the key barriers to work (two thirds of people reported this)
  • There is a particular impact on older workers (between 55-64)
  • Half of people with arthritis in work need to take time off for medical appointments or sickness absence      
  • There is a lack of targeted support to help people remain in work.

Arthritis and Work

Stacey's story

Stacey was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis when she was 15 years old. Her arthritis meant had to leave employment at 23. Stacey was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis when she was 15 years old. She talks about the support she has received from Arthritis Care in order to get back into work and plan her career.

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