Jewish Health

Employment and finances

The impact of people’s health on their working lives varied considerably, depending on the type and severity of the condition, the effects of the treatment (if any), the type of employment they had and the attitude of their employers.
Some people were no longer able to work and, instead, claimed benefits. Access to these benefits could be problematic and one woman described how degraded she felt filling in repetitive questions on the claim form. Others talked about how their self-esteem was affected by giving up work and the subsequent financial implications it had for their family life.
For some people, employment was largely unaffected by their condition. Employers allowed sufficient sick leave or they were determined to keep working despite some discomfort or illness at times. One man became a stand-up comedian after years of ill health and major surgery. He incorporated his experiences into his act for a while in his early career.
Some people continued to work but changed their working patterns because they felt unable to keep up with the combined demands of full time employment and managing their health. Others described how they had chosen an occupation to fit in with their condition or how their opportunities for advancement had been limited. This was often related to tiredness or having to take time off work for treatments or recuperation. For some people, the stress involved in their particular work could cause them ill health.
While some employers were very good about people having sick leave, other people had less positive experiences.
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Some people talked about other financial constraints such as health and holiday insurance. One man, for example, talked about how he couldn’t risk changing medical insurers because a new insurer could possibly exclude him because of his condition.

Last reviewed May 2019.
Last updated May 2019.


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