Many with migraine face discrimination

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Many with migraine face discrimination Empty Many with migraine face discrimination

Post by Tee on Tue Sep 13, 2011 7:06 am

Posted: Sun 11/09/2011 by Deborah Condon

People who suffer with migraine should be treated with fairness and dignity in the workplace, the Migraine Association of Ireland (MAI) has said.

Up to 15% of the Irish population suffer from migraine, which is usually characterised by a one-sided throbbing headache that can last hours or even days. On any given day in Ireland, over 13,000 people are enduring a migraine attack.

However, according to the MAI, many people affected by this and other headache disorders are discriminated against in their jobs.

"We hear stories from migraineurs who are unfairly receiving warnings or facing dismissals because the unseen nature of the condition means it is often not fully understood by employers and colleagues," explained MAI information officer, Donna Ryan.

She noted that research indicates that when people are ‘pulling a sickie', migraine is the most common excuse used, ‘further compounding the problems of those genuinely affected'.

The MAI made its comments ahead of Migraine Action Week, which runs from September 12 - 18. The theme of this year's event is ‘Putting your rights to work'. It was chosen following an investigation by researchers at Trinity College Dublin into the role of EU employment laws when it comes to the protection of Irish workers.

According to Dr Caoimhin MacMaolain, director of research at Trinity's law department, international organisations, such as the World Health Organisation, recognise migraine as a disability.

"Those suffering from this condition in a manner that affects their day-to-day activities, even on a transitory basis, should therefore be covered by the existing employment laws in all of the EU member states, including Ireland," he commented.

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