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Recommendation that the government classify long COVID as a disability

The Office of National Statistics has reported that, as of 1 August 2021, 970,000 people in the UK were experiencing self-reported Long Covid. The most recent data from 2 January 2023, shows that this has increased to 2 million people.

A report, written by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and Long Covid Support, a charity, has recommended that the government labels long COVID as a disability.

The report reveals the results of a survey of over 3,000 people living with long COVID, which shows that two-thirds of them claim to have been treated unfairly at work. The behaviours experienced include harassment, symptoms being disbelieved and threats of disciplinary action. One in seven respondents reported having lost their job.

Long COVID could already meet the definition of a disability under the Equality Act 2010 (EqA 2010), as was found in Burke v Turning Point Scotland ETS/4112457/2021, however, the report argues that the challenges faced in getting support at work means clear guidance from the government is needed.

As well as labelling long COVID as a disability under the EqA 2010, the report recommends that the government makes sure that those experiencing long COVID are entitled to reasonable adjustments at work, such as flexible working, disability leave and a phased return to the workplace. It also suggests that COVID-19 should be classified as an occupational disease so that workers who contracted it through their job are able to seek compensation.

You can read the full report here: https://www.tuc.org.uk/research-analysis/reports/workers-experience-long-covid and if you need any help or advice you can reach us on:

? hello@peachlaw.co.uk

? Connect with us on LinkedIn – Peach Law (HR & Employment Law Specialists)

? 0161 478 3800


Recommendation that the government classify long COVID as a disability

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