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If Staff Have Long Covid?

If Staff Have Long Covid?

Covid-19 Part 2

In our last newsletter, we investigated the Long Covid issues of staff absences, sick pay and when employees return to work. In this issue, we look at what constitutes a “disability” in terms of the condition and avoiding discrimination.

If a member of your staff is suffering from Long Covid, do they then have a “disability”?

Probably, the first issue is “what is a disability”?

By law, a disability is a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘long-term and substantial adverse effect’ on a person’s ability to do normal day-to-day activities.

* “Long term’ means either:

  • it will affect them or is likely to affect them for at least a year
  • it’s likely to last for the rest of their life.

‘Substantial adverse effect’ means more than just a minor impact on someone’s life or how they can do certain things. This may fluctuate or change and may not happen all the time.

Long COVID is still a new illness and it may take time to understand it fully. It can affect a person’s day-to-day activities and it’s currently understood that it can last or come and go for several months, or even years. The effects of Covid-19 could cause a range of impairments.

As well as disability, employers must be careful to avoid other types of discrimination when considering long COVID.

Long COVID has been found to more severely affect:

  • older people
  • ethnic minorities
  • Women

Employers must avoid discriminating by age, disability, race or sex.

The situation may well become clearer as those affected either continue with health issues, or improve.

We are indebted to ACAS (The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service ) for the information.

The Graham Agency, keeping you informed.

End