Leaving work if you have Parkinson's

There may come a time when you feel you need to leave a job or retire because of your Parkinson's.

Before you make a decision, it's important to think carefully about how it will affect you emotionally, practically and financially.

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If you're having difficulties at work, but are not ready to retire, remember that your employer has a duty to make reasonable adjustments.

These adjustments may include:

  • changing your working practices
  • exchanging your duties with colleagues
  • providing you with extra equipment
  • allowing you to work flexible or reduced hours (but bear in mind that if you start to work fewer hours and are paid less on a pro rata basis, it may have an impact on any eventual occupational pension entitlement)
  • moving you to a different post

Find out more about working when you have Parkinson's

managing your symptoms

If you are having difficulty managing your symptoms, speak to your specialist or Parkinson's nurse.

They may be able to make changes to your medication that may help you.

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If you are considering retiring because you're having difficulty managing your symptoms, speak to your specialist or Parkinson's nurse. They may be able to make changes to your medication that may help you.

If you've made the decision to retire, speak to your employer and any relevant professional or trade organisations to make sure you're leaving on the right terms and at the best time.

Some companies encourage their employees to go on courses about preparing for retirement.

If you have any questions about retirement, you can call our free confidential helpline on 0808 800 0303. You can also speak to your local Citizens Advice Bureau or welfare benefits service.

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Occupational pension schemes will have rules for deciding whether to award an early pension, perhaps with enhanced payments, to someone leaving their job because of health issues.

Some schemes have different levels of payments.

The human resources department at your place of work should be able to give you a copy of the terms and conditions relating to your pension.

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If you retire before the state pension age, you can't receive any state retirement pension until you reach that age, under any circumstances.

Your eligibility for benefits depends on your individual situation.

Find out about the rules for benefits such as Employment and Support Allowance before making a retirement decision.

Find out more about grants and benefits for people with Parkinson's.

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If the option is available to you, you may be able to take redundancy. 

If your employer is making redundancies and you feel you're being treated unfairly, employment tribunals can decide whether you are being discriminated against because of your condition.

Trade union members can ask their union for advice and help with negotiating.

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You can speak to a benefits and employment adviser by calling our helpline on 0808 800 0303, but we can't provide financial advice.

Your local Citizens Advice Bureau can advise on employment and benefits, and some solicitors deal with employment and discrimination issues.

For free, confidential information and advice about state, company, personal and stakeholder pensions, contact The Pensions Advisory Service.


"It comes as a shock when, after all those years, you're suddenly not working anymore. I'm not unhappy because I had nearly 40 years. I retired before I was going to, but I've changed my life and now it's to do with family, my wife and having a social life." 

Edward talks about having to retire due to Parkinson's, but having more time to spend with his family.

Last updated February 2018. We review all our information within 3 years. If you'd like to find out more about how we put our information together, including references and the sources of evidence we use, please contact us at [email protected]