Employment and Parkinson's

We believe that people with Parkinson's should be able to live full, independent lives and should be supported to remain in employment for as long as they are able to work.

What we believe

We believe that people with Parkinson's should have the support and opportunity to work if they are able to do so.

Support from employers can make a huge difference to the experience of a person with Parkinson's in the workplace.

However, people also need to feel valued and respected if they can't work, as work is not always possible when living with Parkinson's.

Why we believe this

People with Parkinson’s can and do contribute to a variety of workplaces in a variety of roles. They should be enabled to continue doing so even as their condition progresses.

We are concerned that a lack of understanding about the condition by both employers and the UK government results in the skills, knowledge and experience of employees with Parkinson’s being wasted.

Paid work not only provides an income, it is also a source of identity and purpose for many.

We believe that jobs should be redesigned as far as possible to fit people’s changing capacity and capability. This is not only good for people with Parkinson’s who can remain in work for longer, but is also good for employers.

What's the evidence?

In June and September 2019, we asked people with Parkinson’s about their experiences of employment when living with the condition. Then, in autumn 2021, we ran several focus groups with people with Parkinson’s to discuss their employment experiences. Based on that research, this paper looks at challenges that people with Parkinson’s have told us they experienced throughout the employee life cycle, from gaining work through to leaving work.

Full policy statement on employment

This policy statement has been developed with advice and guidance from people with Parkinson's, the people who love and care for them, health and social care professionals and other experts. You can find more details in the full policy document below.

Read the full Parkinson's UK policy statement on employment.