What to expect from your employer

What to expect from your employer

Some employers have policies, procedures, and programs specifically designed to work with employees requiring accommodations, seeking leaves of absence, or planning to leave the workplace or overall workforce. These employers will typically know their legal obligations as an employer. They may also offer or be willing to offer you more types of support, such as access to employee benefits, financial planning, and retirement planning.

Other employers will be brand new to requests for support, requests for workplace accommodations, and the topic and experience of dementia. They may need some assistance to understand their obligations and time to consider any requests for support over and above them.

If your employer needs some assistance learning about their obligations or different ways they can support you, you can refer them to the Employer section of this website. If you are comfortable speaking to them about your experience and/or needs, you may get a greater sense of how they are willing to support you. This information may influence your decision of whether or how long to stay in your current role, your workplace, or the overall workforce. You do have an obligation as an employee to be able to perform in your job role. If you cannot, then you may also talk to your employer about filling another job role within the organization - one that is better suited to your abilities- or your plans to exit the workplace or workforce.

How to approach your employer

It is normal to feel anxious or worried about approaching your employer to talk about challenges that you are facing in the workplace, accommodations or support that you require to stay in the workplace, or your plan to exit the workplace.

As with any important conversation, it is best to be as prepared as possible before talking to your employer. Arrange the meeting at a time that works well for both of you, and be aware that you might need to have additional conversations.

To prepare for a conversation with your employer:

  • Be clear about what you want to share and gain from the meeting.
  • Identify the best person or people to speak with in advance, such as a supervisor, Human Resources representative, union representative, or owner.
  • Book an appointment at a time that works well for everyone involved.
  • Request the conversation take place in a private, quiet location where you feel comfortable.
  • Practice the conversation in advance so you are comfortable delivering your message and don’t share too much or too little information or feel pressured to respond to questions that you aren’t prepared to answer. 
  • Write down any key points or questions that you want to leave with your employer.
  • Invite a trusted colleague, family member, or friend to attend the conversation and support you if it will help you with your delivery and experience.