KNOWLEDGE CENTRE

Endometriosis: A Blight on a Productive Life

Endometriosis: A Blight on a Productive Life

January 16, 2024

For several years, March has been Endometriosis Awareness Month, with Endometriosis UK (the UK’s leading charity on the condition) campaigning to support those effected by the condition. According to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’:

  • Endometriosis is the second most common gynaecological condition in the UK and it affects 1 in 10 women.
  • Endometriosis can be difficult to diagnose because symptoms can be like other illnesses affecting bowel and pelvis and it can take up to 7.5 years to diagnose.
  • Endometriosis is a long-terms chronic condition with no cure and can cause illnesses ranging from depression to infertility.

What can employers do?

  1. Create a culture of open communication and support. Employees can then ask for help, which in turn contributes towards increased productivity, satisfaction and retention.
  2. Be flexible with flexible working arrangements. Where an employee experiences a flare-up of symptoms, allowing home working means an employee can maintain normal output and avoid a loss in pay but work in conditions that alleviates pain and discomfort. Not only does this benefit the employee, but employers can also reap the rewards of not having to find last-minute cover or face wider problems associated with long-term absences.
  3. Other useful flexible working arrangements include hybrid working, changes to working hours, start/finish times and providing lighter duties.
  4. Endometriosis in the severest cases is a disability under the Equality Act, requiring reasonable adjustment. Endometriosis UK recommends reducing workloads; allowing extra breaks; take off for medical appointments, including when these are last-minute; and adjusting absence trigger points.
  5. Flare-ups commonly last up to 3 days. The first 3 days sickness are “waiting days” and attract no SSP. Sufferers are without pay and charities have called for changes to the SSP rules for these conditions, to allow for SSP from day one.

If you would like more information about endometriosis or Endometriosis Awareness Month, visit https://www.endometriosis-uk.org/

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