UK Charity Arthritis Action has welcomed the new Flexible Working Regulations coming into force on 6th April 2024 and the impact these will have on people with arthritis whether currently in employment, changing jobs or looking to return to work. Its new Factsheet: A Guide for Employers, aims to provide practical advice to help them support employees.

Over 10 million people live with arthritis in the UK[1], that equates to 1 in 6 people living with the pain it causes. As the retirement age has increased this means more employees having to juggle their working lives and managing their arthritis.

A recent YouGov survey for Arthritis Action ‘Arthritis: The Impact on Daily Life’ shows that those with arthritis say the biggest difference employers can make is having flexible working arrangements.[2] The same report showed that during the pandemic fewer people had to give up work due to their arthritis than when asked in 2018, which may correlate to the increase in home working.2 Furthermore, only 5% of those who received support from their employer had to give up work.2

Sarah Vickerstaff Arthritis Action Trustee and Professor of Work and Employment in the Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice at the University of Kent commented:

These new regulations will make a huge difference to how flexible working is perceived and give employees with arthritis greater confidence to ask for adaptations they need in the workplace. This can only be a positive change for employers too, as creating a more supportive workplace can result in greater productivity, morale, retention, as well as reduced sickness absence and ‘presenteeism’.

Sarah Vickerstaff, Arthritis Action Trustee and Professor at the University of Kent

As HR departments prepare themselves for one of the busiest recruitment phases in the calendar, Arthritis Action asks: are your employment practices flexible enough to encourage workers with arthritis to consider your organisation?

To find out more about how you can support employees with arthritis the new Factsheet: Guide for Employers is available here

Editor at Workplace Wellbeing Professional | Website | + posts

Joanne is the editor for Workplace Wellbeing Professional and has a keen interest in promoting the safety and wellbeing of the global workforce. After earning a bachelor's degree in English literature and media studies, she taught English in China and Vietnam for two years. Before joining Work Well Pro, Joanne worked as a marketing coordinator for luxury property, where her responsibilities included blog writing, photography, and video creation.