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Dementia predicted to become more prevalent in UK workplaces

It's a misconception that dementia only affects the elderly - or people who have left employment long ago.

Some 17,000 people in the UK under the age of 65 live with dementia. With the abolition of the default retirement age, and the number of people with dementia predicted to rise to one million by 2021, analysts predict that we will see many more people developing the condition while in employment.

In employment legislation, dementia is classified as a disability. The Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful for an employer to treat someone with dementia less favourably for a reason relating to their disability without a justifiable reason.

This usually means that employers must show they have made reasonable adjustments to allow people who develop dementia to carry on working if they want to. But campaigners say that people with dementia are often unable to get the support they need to keep their jobs.

Stigma

Stigma surrounding mental health issues is a barrier for employees to get help from their employer. It also makes it harder for employers to establish effective systems to improve mental health management in the workplace.

Raising awareness of the condition, and having clear policies and procedures in place are key to creating an open and supportive environment in which people can discuss mental health issues and get the help they need.

Acas publications and services

Acas has published the Advisory booklet - Promoting positive mental health at work, which aims to help employers tackle the stigma around mental health, create a supportive environment and take practical steps to address the issues surrounding mental ill health in the workplace.

Acas experts can visit your workplace and help produce an action plan to identify organisational stress risk, and review the effectiveness of your existing stress management arrangements; for details go to Stress: how Acas can help.

Acas also runs mental health awareness training for employers, listed under Health, work and wellbeing.

For free, impartial advice on any employment relations issue, call the Acas Helpline on 0300 123 1100, or consult Helpline Online.

Visit the Acas Training and Business Solutions area for more information.


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We recommend that you explore further information and advice available on this website, particularly within our Advice A-Z guidance pages. If you have questions about workplace rights and rules visit Helpline Online.

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