Long COVID - Employer considerations
What do employers need to consider with regards to “Long Covid”
It is now widely known that the effects of COVID differ greatly from person to person, with some people presenting no symptoms at all throughout the illness, while others exhibiting long lasting effects well beyond becoming clear of the virus itself.
As such employers need to be aware of “long Covid” in employees and manage it like any other medical condition.
This means a one size fits all approach simply won’t work and employers will need to consult with their staff as to what is can be reasonably expected given the specific staff members condition.
Not enough time has elapsed for “Long Covid” to be classed as a disability (such a condition would need to last in a person (or be expected to last) in excess of 12 months, yet if it were to have an adverse impact on an individuals life such that it made it difficult to carry out normal day to day activities, then it could eventually be classed as such.
Employers with staff suffering from Long Term Covid, are likely to experience significant amounts of sickness absence which need to be managed. This usually comes with extra spend on agency workers, for example, or extra pressure on colleagues who need to pick up the extra work. The added expenditure of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or contractual sick pay will also be a burden.
Employees on long term sick leave can become more difficult to bring back to work especially if they feel they have not been supported by the employer or estranged from the workplace.
Our HR partners can advise further should you require and should you wish to book a call .