IMAGE DESCRIPTION: An image of two people talking to represent a meeting at work to ask for reasonable adjustments. Title: Updated Booklet: An essential guide to employment issues for people with ME/CFS or Long Covid with an image of the cover of the booklet. The ME Association Logo (bottom right).

An essential guide to employment issues for people with ME/CFS or Long Covid

An essential guide that features employment law, returning or continuing to work as a disabled person, reasonable adjustments, sickness absence, leaving work due to ill health, national insurance, benefits, pensions, early retirement, reasonable adjustments, termination of employment and unfair dismissal.

Employment Issues


  • Employment can bring many benefits. For those lucky enough, it can be more than just a job; it can help you feel valued and provide purpose and responsibility. It can be a career and even a vocation. It’s where you can make friends. It can assume such importance that it becomes part of your identity.
  • It can stimulate and be satisfying, but employment can also be difficult, stressful, mundane, soul-destroying, and lack direction. For most people, it is a necessary part of adult life whose main purpose is to provide an income that helps pay the bills and provide you and your family with a place to live.
  • It is not then surprising that having to leave a job suddenly because of a medical crisis and without an idea of when you might return can not only lead to rational concerns about financial security, but can cause significant anxiety and stress, lower self-esteem, and leave you dependent on others for care and support – perhaps for the first time since becoming an adult.
  • Returning to work after a long period of sickness absence can also present a challenge and might best be achieved on a phased-return, part-time, even voluntary basis until such time as you know you can handle its demands and don’t experience any setbacks or relapses.
  • It is important that you know your employment rights and we hope this booklet will let you see how you can survive when ill-health leads to problems at work, and that it will be a good reference tool when you are in a position to return to work.

While we have tried to make the explanations as easy to understand as we can, many involve detail that might best be read and understood by someone who does not have the kind of cognitive challenges and energy restrictions that are caused by ME/CFS or Long Covid. We suggest that you try and read the booklet if able, but ask a family member, close friend, carer, or appointed representative to help you understand and interpret the content where necessary.

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