Progressing and Fluctuating conditions

Workbridge is the largest New Zealand-owned employment service for people with a disability or health condition.

What are progressive and fluctuating conditions?

There are a range of conditions which are progressive (become more severe over time) or fluctuating in their effects. Examples include Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Myalgic Encephalopathy (ME) or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)/ Acquired Immune Deficiency Disorder (AIDS) and cancer. Other conditions, such as epilepsy, mental health conditions or musculoskeletal disorders, are covered separately.

These conditions are not related in cause and the symptoms are, of course, very different, but an understanding of the effects which progressive and fluctuating conditions have in common can help improve outcomes at work.


How do progressive and fluctuating conditions affect people in employment?

Changes to progressive and fluctuating conditions over time can be difficult to predict. Two people with the same condition can have a very different experience. Those with progressive conditions may need to have more regular work assessments to pick up on any new needs and may benefit from changes to any adaptive equipment they use as their condition develops.

Employees with fluctuating conditions will have periods of wellness followed by times when their conditions worsen. These patterns may be cyclical but are often difficult to predict. People may benefit from flexible work schedules so they can increase their hours when they are well and reduce them when they need to manage their condition.


Useful links

Diversity Works NZ provides a booklet on managing fluctuating and progressive conditions in the workplace, as part of an 11 part set available for purchase.

The New Zealand AIDS Foundation provides information and support to people with HIV or AIDS.

Multiple Sclerosis New Zealand provides information and support for people with MS.