Council for Work and Health statement on Long Covid

For people with Long Covid, there needs to be workplace support for return to work.  There needs to be sustained joined up services to assist people with Long Covid who are at work to stay at work, through medical, biopsychosocial and workplace support and vocational rehabilitation.

Many employers have gone above-and-beyond to make sure their staff feel supported as the pandemic has unfolded, and this is essential for people with Long Covid who may benefit from slower graduated returns and ongoing accommodations due to their fluctuating symptoms.  Such support is the right thing to do after the pandemic but may also help organisations avoid talent leaving the workforce and even legal challenge.

We are particularly concerned about the impact of poor management support due to a lack of knowledge, skill and resources to effectively manage people with Long Covid.  Good line management of people with Long Covid is crucial. 

Employers have a duty of care to their staff and now more than ever, every employee with Long Covid needs to be treated with compassion, to be listened to and supported through difficulties that Long Covid presents with. 

As Long Covid is a new health issue, the patient perspective is particularly important e.g. with care taken on physical exertion until appropriate diagnostic tests have occurred.

The Council asks for evidence-based NHS services for people with Long Covid, across the nations of the UK that works with occupational and vocational rehabilitation specialists on return to work. 

The Council also wishes to ensure Long Covid is prevented, fundamentally by avoiding Covid-19 transmission. It notes the risk of workplace transmission at work.  The hierarchy of controls and effective risk assessments remain essential to keep the likelihood of exposure to COVID-19 as low as possible.