Employer Responses to Dementia in the Workplace in Scotland

The prevalence of dementia in the UK is increasing with over 800,000 people currently affected. Of this number in excess of 40,000 are aged under 65 years suggesting that a significant number of individuals below state pension age may be experiencing symptoms of dementia while in employment. Abolition of the statutory retirement age and increasing life expectancy indicates that the impact of dementia on the workplace could be substantial. As dementia may be considered to be a disability under the Equality Act 2010, the legislation potentially provides a framework for individuals to request that their employer make reasonable adjustments to support them to continue in employment. International human rights law is potentially another tool which could be utilised to obtain the necessary adjustments.

Drawing on findings to date of the Carnegie funded ‘Employer responses to dementia in the workplace in Scotland’ undertaken by Edinburgh Napier University, University of the West of Scotland and Heriot Watt University, this seminar will explore the issues that people with dementia may experience in the workplace and the attitudes of employers. It will also explore relevant provisions of the Equality Act 2010 to ascertain the rights and obligations contained within it and discuss how these may be used more effectively to assist people with dementia to stay in employment for longer.