Migraine and work

The employment impact of migraine doesn’t just affect the individual: each year almost £9bn is lost to the UK economy

Research undertaken by the National Migraine Centre suggests more than 50 per cent of those with chronic migraine feel their employers are not supportive of their condition. The research shows:

  • 25 per cent had to change careers because of their migraine attacks and/or headaches
  • 16 per cent lost their job because of migraine and/or headaches
  • 97 per cent of respondents worked while in pain caused by headache
  • 54 per cent suffer financially due to migraine
  • Chronic sufferers lose 16.8 days of work per year due to headache-related conditions

The impact of migraine and headaches on work is often unseen, underestimated and misunderstood by employers and can be underplayed by sufferers in order to hold on to their jobs.

Access to effective treatment can minimise the impact on the individual and benefit employers by improving staff wellbeing and boosting productivity.

The cost of migraine to society

Each year in the UK, an estimated £8.8bn is lost to migraine1. According to research undertaken by The Work Foundation2:

  • migraine is the biggest cause of years lived with disability amongst those aged 15 to 49 – a time when people are often at their most productive, furthering their careers and starting families, leading to a major impact on career development and the wider economy
  • 5.7 days are lost per person with migraine every year, equating to 43 million workdays at a cost of almost £4.4bn
  • an estimated additional further £4.4bn is lost to the economy each year due to reduced productivity as those with migraines continue working – many express concern about the negative impact on their careers of taking extended or regular sick leave
  • despite its extraordinary cost to society, migraine is the least publicly funded of all neurological diseases relative to its economic impact

1, 2. The Work Foundation, Society’s Headache, 2018

Employee wellbeing packages

Give your employees access to effective treatment and minimise the impact of headache on your business, improving staff wellbeing and boosting productivity.

Find out more about employee welbeing