Under the law employers have to ensure that their employees are treated fairly regardless of age and disability. Employees are able to ask their employer to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to help them continue working.
It is estimated that approximately 90,000 people across Scotland have dementia. This number is set to rise in future. ‘Dementia’ describes a wide range of conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. Symptoms include memory loss, difficulties with thinking and problem-solving. Its symptoms get progressively worse over time. Dementia is most common in people over 65 years but it can also affect working age people. As the statutory retirement age rises it is likely that more over 65s could still be working.
While many working age people with dementia are still in employment, they are often on sick leave and/or given early retirement or made redundant at the point of diagnosis. This is likely to have considerable implications in terms of their financial position and family relationships. Employers therefore need to be better prepared to support their employees with dementia.
The aim of this research is to explore how employers in Scotland support their employees with dementia. The research will help us to understand whether employers are meeting their legal duties. The research will look at the policies that employers have to support employees with dementia. It will also explore the attitudes of employers towards employees with dementia. The project involves a multi-disciplinary team from three Scottish universities and provides development opportunities for its early career researcher member.