One in 10 people that have had Coronavirus are still suffering with symptoms six months later. This is commonly referred to as ‘long Covid’.
This can continue for weeks or months afterwards for some individuals and the symptoms can range from the following:
- Loss of taste or smell
- Dizziness or fatigue
- Respiratory difficulties like shortness of breath or chest pain
- Blood clots or even, organ damage.
Although those who have been treated in hospital are more likely to experience long Covid issues, many who experienced mild symptoms initially are also struggling with this condition.
What should employers do?
Employers should take a sympathetic approach to their employees who may be suffering from long Covid; especially where this leaves them unable to work.
Sick pay must apply as normal, and an occupational health assessment should be undertaken to monitor any adjustments that can be implemented to assist a return to work.
There must also be a risk assessment in place for any returns to the workplace to ensure that it is safe for the individual.
An occupational health assessment must be implemented if someone has been absent with long Covid. This should confirm whether they are fit to return and what appropriate, sufficient adjustments need to be in place.
It is important to note that employers should not act discriminatory towards workers suffering from long Covid. This should be treated like any long-term illness.
Not only this, but encouraging staff to take a break and rest whilst suffering from Coronavirus is crucial.
With new evidence of long Covid pointing towards those who do not rest and recover properly, employers should be encouraging their workers to do so more than ever.
Although it is tempting to suggest the continuation of working from home, especially if symptoms seem minimal, resting properly will help prevent any chance of employees getting long Covid in the future.
At HR Caddy, we have experience in advising on frequent and short-term absence or supporting long term absence related to an underlying health condition. We are focused on helping you fix the problem in a timely manner that is best for your business.
For more help or advice on related matters, please contact us today.