Long Covid in the workplace

Adam Bernstein looks into the implications of long Covid for employers

Two million people in the UK are living with long-term symptoms of Covid-19 and some employers have employees that are struggling.

Alexandra Farmer, head of team and a solicitor at WorkNest, says there is a growing awareness around long Covid as a condition. She says that while organisations are trying to understand the right way of handling employees with long Covid, ‘situations involving employees with medical conditions take some time to play out, and employers are at a point where things cannot go on forever.’

Some feel that long Covid is a disability. However, the Equality and Human Rights Commission stated in May, 2022, that it should not be automatically classified as a disability. This is because, as Farmer says: ‘Only a few conditions are deemed disabilities under the Equality Act 2010 and the Equality Act 2010 (Disability) Regulations 2010.’

In detail, section 6(1) of the Equality Act 2010 states ‘a person has a disability if (a) they have a physical or mental impairment and (b) the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.’

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