Should people with long COVID be recognised as disabled? — Scope | Disability forum
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Should people with long COVID be recognised as disabled?

Tori_Scope
Tori_Scope Scope Campaigns Posts: 12,465 Disability Gamechanger
ITV: Should Long Covid be recognised as a disability?

A teacher is calling for Long Covid to be classified as a disability after fearing that her job could become at risk if she needs more time off work.

Heather Jones, from Clifton, contracted Covid-19 in November 2020 but, four weeks after testing positive, she began to develop other symptoms including extreme fatigue and confusion.

At its height she often struggled to walk, and even forgot she had siblings or friends.

Heather was diagnosed with Long Covid and had six months away from the classroom.

She relapsed on her return - and fears more time off sick could mean disciplinary proceedings - and the end of her career.

How is Long Covid affecting workers?

More than two million people have reported experiencing the symptoms of Long Covid - many of them frontline workers.

Currently, the usual laws around statutory sick leave apply when someone is off work because of Long Covid, and although employers are encouraged to support their staff, there are fears many are not.

A recent study by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) found that more than half of people currently living with Long Covid have faced discrimination at work because of their illness.

Many reported issues getting employers to take the condition seriously, and faced stigma from colleagues when they did return to work.
  • 52% said they had experienced discrimination because of their condition
  • 9% had used up all their sick leave and faced warnings if they took more
  • 5% said they had been forced out of their jobs because of Long Covid
There are now calls for the condition to be classified as a disability.

The move would mean the illness would have a more automatic protection under Equality Act, giving people the legal right to reasonable adjustments at work, including flexible working, longer rest breaks, and specialist equipment.

Dismissal without these adjustments could be classed as discrimination.

The TUC say sick leave restrictions are piling the pressure on people trying to recover.
You can read more about long COVID on the NHS website.
National Campaigns Officer, she/her

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Should people with long COVID be recognised as disabled? 8 votes

Yes
37%
Lisatho11987777Felix_Redwoodluckpenny 3 votes
No
25%
wilkoexdvr 2 votes
In some cases
12%
woodbine 1 vote
I'm not sure
25%
leeCallittleacorn 2 votes
Tagged:

Comments

  • Lisatho11987777
    Lisatho11987777 Scope Member Posts: 5,911 Disability Gamechanger
    Yes
    Slot of people are experiencing  long covid and  in some cases is worse than corona virus its self some people who only had mild symptoms  have got long covid and it does  seriously affect people 
  • woodbine
    woodbine Community member Posts: 10,493 Disability Gamechanger
    In some cases
    Like all "new" conditions it will take time to see how people are affected over a period of time, at the moment from what I see and read long covid is just an illness not a disability, although that might change.
    Seasons greetings to one and all 🎄🎅🏻🌲

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