Can people with Fibromyalgia work?

The short answer is Yes. I know a lot of people who manage to work while being Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. There is a large spectrum of degrees in severity of those diagnosed with Fibromyalgia; for some people it is a mere consideration and for others it completely immobilises them. In the UK people with Fibromyalgia could also claim benefits like Employment & Support Allowance and the mobility components of Disability Living Allowance while working depending on the severity of their condition and how much work they do.

An employee has told me they have Fibromyalgia, should I be worried?

I would generally answer this question as No, as if your employee has volunteered the information it most likely means they want to be totally honest with you about their condition and they are therefore more likely to work with you to manage the condition and the needs of your business. Fibromyalgia is likely to be covered by the Disability Discrimination Act depending on the individuals circumstances so it would be a good idea to familiarise yourself with your responsibilities of the act. Also understand that Fibromyalgia is a variable condition and it is likely that that the employee will not be able to give you advance warning of flare ups but prior discussion with the employee may be helpful as they may want to work their hours at a different time to make up for the inconvenience. A good working relationship is key, you need to take an interest in the employees health, check if there are reasonable adjustments required and encourage them to understand what is expected of them if they become I’ll. I have also found that a few hours off work can prevent a few weeks off work if a flare up is caught early enough so a good relationship is key. Also understand that this employee may be making far more sacrifices with regard to their out of work life than other employees are just to be able to perform as well as they can at work. For example I remained in full time employment for three years because every week I spent both days off sleeping through the night and the day to ensure I was rested enough to work full time.