Employers' guide to limb loss
Limb loss generally refers to the absence of any part of an extremity (such as arms or legs) due to surgical, traumatic amputation or malformation.
Limb loss can be acquired from birth, an accident, war injury, disease/condition (for example diabetes) or through surgery. Many cases of limb loss may be accompanied by associated psychological or psychiatric conditions, such as post traumatic stress disorder or depression.
Impact of limb loss
Typical traits will depend on the severity of the limb loss and the employee’s individual circumstances. This may include such things as pain, mental health issues, grief at the loss of the limb, phantom limb pain and loss of mobility or function.
Recruiting people with limb loss
- Not everyone with limb loss will declare this prior to an interview.
- Don’t judge on first impressions, behave naturally and do not avoid eye contact.
- Provide the opportunity for adjustments to be made within the selection process. For example written assessments may not be applicable to an individual with the loss of an arm.
Supporting staff who have limb loss
- Discuss the employee’s individual requirements in the workplace.
- Consider a functional capacity evaluation to assess their suitability for a role.
- Approach Access to Work (external site) for advice on reasonable adjustments and equipment.
- With the individual’s approval, educate work colleagues on the condition and how it affects them at work.
- If possible, provide a car parking space close to the entrance.
- Provide specialist software, for example voice activated, where appropriate.
Useful information about limb loss
You might need to make some adjustments to help your employees. These could include specialist equipment like chairs and IT equipment. Grants are available through Access to Work (external site) to help to cover the cost of items that are identified as necessary to support employees who are disabled or have a health condition.