Migraine affects 1 in 7 in the UK

Over 23% of the adult population in the UK suffers from migraine or other headache disorders. Migraine is therefore common amongst adults in the working age. This condition can have an impact on work life which is both distressing and challenging to cope with.

Migraine is a complex neurological condition with various complicated symptoms that differ from one person to the other. The common symptoms are sensitivity to light, sound and smells, feeling nauseated, vomiting, visual disturbances (also called aura), dizziness, but the most debilitating is the headache.  A typical migraine attack can render a sufferer incapacitated for few hours to a number of days, spending most of their time in dark closed rooms.

For more insight into migraine management read our factsheet .

If you are struggling with migraine at work or already suffer with migraine and are about to start a new job, download our ‘Migraine at work’ advice sheet.  This can help you manage your condition to lessen it’s impact on your work.

How do I know if my migraine is a disability ?

Occasional migraines cause a lot of inconvenience, but for those who experience regular severe migraines it is difficult to function on a daily basis.

When migraine is frequent and severe, it is classed as a disability under the Equality Act (previously known as the Disability Discrimination Act).

Your GP or a Headache Specialist should be able to help you understand if your migraine condition can be classed as a disability.

Migraine at work – Things you need to know!


  • Understand your company sickness absence policies:

Typical migraine attacks can last from 2 hours to 72 hours. It is therefore vital that you know what are the absence policies in your organisation specifically the ones for short term absences.

The policies should be able to outline the measures that your organisation takes towards employee sickness, if you are not sure speak to the HR or your manager.

  • Speak to your Manager or Employer

Employees often don’t tell their employer about their long term condition or disability for a variety of reasons. Your employer can’t help you unless they know more about how this condition makes you feel.

We understand that it is difficult to talk to an employer or your manager about migraines, because it is widely misunderstood. However we do encourage you to have that conversation. You can ask your GP, or a headache specialist to provide you with information that should help you engage with your employer and will also help them understand the gravity of your condition.

If you are finding it difficult, refer or introduce us to your organisation and we can work with them to develop a corporate wellbeing programme specifically for migraine sufferers in your organisation.

For more information on our corporate programme click here.

If you are struggling with migraine let us help you. Book an appointment to see one of our headache specialists who will be able to provide you with a bespoke migraine management plan that we hope would help your migraines.

Call us on 020 7251 3322 or simply Book Now.