Employment rights

Macular disease should not be a barrier to employment. It is understandable that you might worry you will not be able to keep your job when you’ve received a macular disease diagnosis. However, with a few changes to how you work, and by being open with your employer, you should be able to continue working.

Sight loss and employment

The Macular Society is regularly asked whether or not a person is able to keep working following a macular disease diagnosis. As an employee you are protected under the Equality Act 2010. Your employer has a duty of care to all their employees, and is expected to support anyone who reports a change in their health.

Keeping your job after diagnosis

We have often heard that a clinician has told a person they may have to give up their job after diagnosis. In most cases this is not necessary. In fact, with some minor changes to the way people carry out their job, the majority remain employed. When a person’s sight loss starts to affect their work, it is important that they report this to their employer. This is because the employer has obligations under the Equality Act 2010 to support the employee. The video ‘Disclosure in Work’ explores and offers suggestions about the best way to do this.

Depending on the nature of your job, in some cases you may not be able to continue. For example a lorry driver with a macular disease diagnosis would eventually be unable to drive. However, in most cases, changes can be made to the way people work so that they are able to keep their job. Some of these changes are:

  • Flexible working – moving your hours or when you work to enable you to work more effectively.
  • Re-deployment into another role within the company or at a different location.
  • Reasonable adjustments such as changing your work station environment or introducing equipment to support you in your job.

The video ‘Sight loss and keeping your job’ gives more information about the options available to you and your employer.

The Macular Society’s Working Age and Young People’s Service offers information and advice about all aspects of employment. Whether you are looking for work, employed or about to tell your employer about your diagnosis, we will be able to support you. If you want to talk to other working people with macular disease about their experiences, please join the Working Age and Young People’s Facebook Group.

To contact the Working Age and Young People’s service call 0300 3030 111.

All our employment videos are available on Youtube.