Report on Energy Limiting Chronic Illnesses

Year of Publication: 

The ‘I already have a job…’ report, by Chronic Illness Inclusion and Leeds University Business School, sets out how government, employers and the benefits system are failing millions of people in the UK with Energy Limiting Chronic Illnesses (ELCIs). 

Although one in three disabled people of working age experiences problems with stamina, breathing or fatigue, the report says that their needs are not reflected in the workplace, in legislation, or by disability assessments like the Work Capability Assessment (WCA). 

Despite ELCIs affecting almost 5 million adults in the UK, these people are hidden within disability-related policies because their lived experiences of illness and impairment is widely misunderstood, often discredited, denied and disbelieved.

Lack of knowledge about ELCIs and how reasonable adjustments should work, make it impossible for people with these conditions do paid work. The rapid move to home working during the pandemic shows that such change is possible. It is imperative that employers continue such beneficial practices. 

People with ELCI who are unable to work, or can’t work full-time, face further barriers because of the way all benefits assessments are designed and carried out. Within an already punitive system, there is no way to factor in the unpredictability of conditions like, ME/CFS, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis, Long Covid and numerous other ELCIs.