Press Release: Employers need to do more for workers who suffer a stroke

12 May 2015

London, UK - Employers do not do enough to help workers who have suffered a stroke, a charity has warned. The number of strokes occurring in men aged between 40 and 54 in England has gone up by nearly half in less than 15 years, while it has risen by almost a third in women, the Stroke Association said.

The increase in blamed on increasingly sedentary and unhealthy lifestyles, 

Overall, the number of strokes occurring in people of working age (20 to 64) rose by a quarter in the same period.

The charity also warned its findings have serious implications for the UK economy.

It carried out a survey, which found that people who have suffered stroke are struggling to get back to work due to a lack of understanding.

Just one in 20 employers recognised cognitive difficulties as a symptom of stroke while just half had heard of the Government's Access to Work Scheme.

The charity also said the rise in stroke amongst those of working age means more people will be forced to live with the heavy financial impact of the condition.

Stroke survivors unable to return to work can struggle to cope with a fall in income, increased household bills and a benefits system which does not recognise the full impact of stroke, it warned.

The charity's chief executive, Jon Barrick, said: "These figures show that stroke can no longer be seen as a disease of older people. 

"There is an alarming increase in the numbers of people having a stroke in working age.

"This comes at a huge cost, not only to the individual, but also to their families and to health and social care services.

"The simple truth is that we must do more to raise people's awareness of risk factors, to help prevent them from having a stroke. 

"We also need the right health and social care services available.

People must have the support they need to make the best possible recovery and avoid having to cope for decades with the disabilities that stroke can bring."

Brendan Roach, senior disability consultant at Business Disability Forum, said: "Our experience of working with organisations for over 20 years demonstrates that businesses with an effective and well-publicised process for making disability-related workplace adjustments are best placed to meet the challenge of risings rates of stroke.

"That's why we're supporting the Stroke Association's work to encourage employers to understand the needs of stroke survivors and become 'disability-smart'."


Notes to editors:

  • BDF is a world leading business membership organisation bringing together large private and public organisations to build increasingly disability smart businesses. Formerly called the Employers’ Forum on Disability, the company has more than twenty years’ experience of working with public and private sector employers and service providers.For more information about BDF please visit:
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