If you employ or work with someone with IC
When you employ a member of staff with Interstitial Cystitis, your support can be the main pillar of a sustainable life. There are many potential factors to ensure employment continues and works to the benefit of both sides. You employed this person regardless of their condition, for their abilities and skills that you noticed. It is a responsibility as an employer, that when a staff member alerts you to a disability, it is taken into account. Consideration can be given in the following areas:
Policies are a fundamental part of employment and can be implemented to work around the condition, whilst still being effective for their intended person.
Targets and motives could be considered so that the factors of the condition are taken into account, but progress is still achievable.
Adjustments might also be considered; such as furniture changes to more supportive chairs or positions, changes to the work environment, flexibility with time in the bathroom or working hours or consideration to requests.
It can be difficult to understand the intensity of the symptoms and unfortunately it isn't unusual for employers to be sceptical or judgemental about invisible illness. If this is the stance taken in recruitment, you may be responsible for a devistatingly large impact. If you are uncertain for any reason, wish to have guidance for the individual and hope to make the best out of this employee, then you are able to apply an occupational health assessment. This will give you the knowledge you need to be able to proceed and your support will be significant.
If you have a contract with someone who has IC
There may be times of difficulty in meeting expectations of the contract if there is a term of severity of Interstitial Cystitis symptoms. In these circumstances, once you are aware there are certain things you can do to assist on your part. Some ideas include:
Allowing more flexibility to deadlines or targets that better suit the circumstances
Reconsidering points of the contract or policies implemented, in order to account for the condition. This allows people with disability the equal opportunities with consideration to the illness.
Ability to speak with someone if need be, in a way that is noted and able to be referred to or developed on.
The priority is to ensure that people with invisible illness constituting a disability, are able to live and sustain their lives like those without. All too often there is dismissal around conditions that are not seen, which leads to disasterous circumstances.
Stress has an incredibly intense effect on the body and when an autoimmune condition is present, the symptoms are amplified. If you are able to provide support or follow the Equality Act 2010 procedures for a disabled person, not only will you be protecting their health from that inevitable spiral, you will also be assisting in maintaining the contract between you; that deserves the attention to detail, as well as helping to keep utilities, housing, general living under control.
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