Working with dementia

Are employers supporting employees with the condition?

It is estimated that 90,000 people in Scotland have dementia and this is set to rise. Most common in people over 65 years, it can also affect working age people. With the statutory retirement age rising, the impact of dementia on the workplace could be considerable.

Existing research suggests that while many working age people with dementia are still in employment, they are often on sick leave, given early retirement or made redundant when they receive their diagnosis.

Valerie Egdell of the Employment Research Institute says: “People with dementia often remain very capable and may be able to continue working for some time following a diagnosis. We need to find out whether employers understand that they have a legal duty to make reasonable adjustments to support employees with dementia under the Equality Act 2010. If an individual is forced to stop working this can have considerable implications in terms of their dignity and self-esteem, and can put massive financial pressures on their families.”

The research is funded by the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland. The Edinburgh Napier team (Professor Jill Stavert (principal investigator), Dr Valerie Egdell and Mandy Cook) are working alongside colleagues from the University of West of Scotland and Heriot-Watt University.