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Migraine in the Workplace

Each year, September is used to raise general awareness of migraine as a serious public health issue. Migraine is the third most common disease in the world, affecting 1 in 7 people around the globe. Despite affecting so many people, the understanding and awareness of this disease is low.

What is a migraine?

Migraine is a complex neurological condition with a wide variety of symptom. For many people the main feature is a severe throbbing headache which can last from four to 72 hours. Other symptoms may include disturbed vision, sensitivity to light, sound and smells, feeling nauseous and vomiting.

A report by the workplace think tank, the work foundation has revealed the scale of the impact of migraines on the UK economy. The report calls on government and national bodies to come together to develop a long-term strategy for improving migraine care across employment and health settings. It has 3 main aims…

  1. Improving care: Establish a clear and unambiguous patient pathway
  2. Public understanding: Educate on painful and debilitating nature of migraine
  3. Outcomes in the workplace: Empower employers to understand their employees’ needs

One in seven people experience migraine, some having migraine attacks only once or twice a year while others may have attacks two or three times a week.
A employee should make their migraines known to their new employer as soon as they start a new job. An employer may want to talk to an employee about their migraine issues if they experience an attack at work or at a return to work meeting if sick leave has been taken. An employee can also request a discussion. Migraine symptoms can vary and keeping an employer informed about this can help them to understand how to support colleagues appropriately.

What is the responsibility of the employer?

The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 sets out employers’ responsibilities for the health and safety of their employees. Employers should carry out risk assessments of the workplace and take reasonable steps to ensure that workplace factors do not cause or exacerbate poor health. This includes assessing and monitoring stress factors that may impact on individuals in the workplace.

What NDM Health and safety can do to help you:

All organisations are required by UK law to have access to competent health and safety advice. Those with 5 or more employees to have a written health and safety policy and documented risk assessments.

NDM H&S can assist with all your health and safety requirements, offering a tailored service designed to meet your individual needs, from one-off ‘health check’ audits and ad-hoc requirements to provision of all health and safety documentation and on-going support contracts. This flexible approach provides smaller organisations with a cost-effective way to meet their legal requirements.
Our consultants have many years’ experience of implementing health and safety management systems within a wide range of industries.

For more information call us on: 01952 287347 or send us an email at: info@ndmhealthandsafety.co.uk

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