after covid report 2 out of 3 people with long covid say they are mistreated at work
According to a recent study, two out of every three Long Covid sufferers feel they are treated unfairly.
The majority of respondents to a recent TUC and Long Covid Support Employment Group survey of more than 3,000 people with the condition say they have received unfair treatment at work and that one in seven of them have lost their jobs as a result of the condition.
Now let’s see the basic highlights of the TUC report:
The TUC and the Long Covid Support Employment Group urge ministers to take immediate action to ensure that everyone with Long Covid is legally protected.
According to a new TUC and Long Covid Support Employment Group report released today, two out of three (66%) participants with Long Covid who participated in a survey have encountered unfair treatment at work (Monday).
A recent survey, which received responses from more than 3,000 Long Covid patients, was released today, the third anniversary of the lockdown.
Two-thirds of respondents say they have experienced unfair treatment at work, up from half (52%) of those who participated in a comparable survey in 2021.
Therapy at work
Many Long Covid sufferers claim that their condition has affected how they are treated at work, according to a TUC and Long Covid Support Employment Group report:
• Nearly a quarter (23%) of those surveyed claim that their employer has questioned their ability to work or the significance of their symptoms or whether they have Long Covid.
• Nearly three times as many people (14%) say they lost their job as a result of circumstances related to Long Covid as did so in 2021.
• Nearly three out of ten people (28%) express concern that Long Covid has hurt their chances of getting a promotion at work.
• Additionally, 1 in 6 people (16%) say they have been the target of harassment or bullying at work.
Getting assistance at work
The report details the challenges working people with Long Covid encounter when trying to get the assistance they require to be able to go back to work and continue working if they so choose:
• Nearly half (48%) claim they were not given any or all of the reasonable accommodations they required to return to work, such as flexibility to manage to change symptoms or longer or more frequent breaks.
• Additionally, half of the workers (50%) say they haven’t received any or all of the reasonable accommodations they need to manage their jobs, such as extended hours or physical changes to the workplace.
The TUC and Long Covid Support Employment Group report reveals that while different forms of flexible working are necessary for people with Long Covid to be able to stay in the workforce, it is frequently the most difficult adjustment to obtain from employers.
According to the TUC and Long Covid Support Employment Group survey, nearly half (49%) of participants thought they acquired Covid-19 at work.
However, 1 in 8 (12%) report that they have kept their Long Covid a secret from their employer out of concern that their boss won’t take any action or that they will be viewed negatively.
Impact of Long Covid on the economy
The financial toll on Long Covid-affected workers is also revealed in the TUC and Long Covid Support Employment Group report.
• Half of those who participated in the survey (50%) said they had to use their savings to support themselves.
• About 1 in 16 (6%) people say they have used a private loan or debt service.
• Additionally, one in 16 (6%) people report using food banks.
Need for government action
The government is being urged by the TUC and Long Covid Support Employment Group to enact several measures immediately, including:
• Assure that the Equality Act recognizes everyone with Long Covid as disabled. Numerous people with Long Covid will already be covered by the Act’s protections, but expanding the Equality Act 2010’s protections would guarantee that everyone is covered by the law and entitled to reasonable accommodations that eliminate, reduce, or prevent any disadvantages that Long Covid workers may experience. This would be a decisive government move to safeguard those who would be affected by the pandemic’s long-term health effects.
• The classification of Covid-19 as an occupational illness. Employees and their dependents would be entitled to defense and payment if they contracted the virus while at work.
• More flexibility across all jobs. Employers should be required to disclose any potential flexible working arrangements for each position when it is advertised. And unless the employer can adequately justify why this is not possible, all employees should have the right to work flexibly from day one, not just the right to ask. Any rejections should be subject to appeal by the workers. Additionally, there shouldn’t be a cap on the number of times an employee can request flexible working arrangements in a calendar year.
• Advice for business owners. The Equality and Human Rights Commission should immediately create comprehensive employer guidance on Long Covid and the kinds of reasonable adjustments that individuals may require.
Workers with Long Covid have been severely let down, according to TUC General Secretary Paul Nowak.
Many of these people are the essential workers who got us through the pandemic, but now some are being fired, and too many are depending on food banks to survive.
Ministers must ensure that all Long Covid employees have the legal right to reasonable accommodations at work so they can continue in their positions.
It is appropriate to classify Covid-19 as an occupational illness. That would make it possible for employees who contracted Covid-19 at work and are currently dealing with the effects to pursue the compensation they are entitled to. Employers also have a responsibility to ensure that Long Covid employees receive the necessary adjustments.
That is how we ensure that Long Covid employees can manage their condition and continue working.
“This report confirms the scale of personal cost and loss of skilled talent Long Covid Support volunteers witness every day in our confidential peer support Facebook group,” said Lesley Macniven, a founding member of the organization and chair of the Long Covid Support Employment Group, which collaborated with the TUC on this report.
It is shocking but not unexpected that one in seven respondents lost their job as a result of their condition. This significant increase supports the Long Covid Support Employment Group’s 2021 warnings. Our workforce’s health is being severely damaged by Long Covid, which urgently calls for a more strategic response.
How many people’s suffering, misery, and financial loss could have been avoided if there had been targeted action to stop these tens of thousands of job losses?
Once lost, it can be extremely difficult and expensive to rehire. According to the OBR, the government’s “back to work” budget will bring 110,000 returning citizens to the workforce over five years for £7 billion.
We must immediately halt attrition related to Long Covid. Many people have been devastated to lose their jobs and become disabled due to Long Covid due to lack of support when it was needed. Our suggestions also include s upport for those who may not soon return to the workforce because they too deserve it. Discrimination and a lack of understanding are obstacles for those still struggling to find employment. The numbers and costs will keep rising as they too reluctantly leave the workforce if action is not taken to retain these workers, especially in industries where there are skills shortages.