Long COVID and Return to Work - What Works?
A Position Paper from the The Society of Occupational Medicine
This paper provides a summary of a SOM Webinar entitled “Long COVID and return to work support - what works?” in March 2022, which was organised because of the different approaches to the management of Long COVID across the UK
The purpose of this paper is to provide guidance on the identification and management of Long COVID - particularly regarding return to work. It will be of use to occupational health providers, employers, workers, people with Long COVID, HR
personnel, managers, medical, allied health professionals and unions. A multi-disciplinary approach is essential to help retain and support people affected by Long COVID to return to work.
There are useful appendices on:
- Universal first-line screening assessment in Long COVID
- Red flags and specialist referral
- Treatment which can help function and recovery
- Specific Fitness for Work considerations after COVID-19 infection
- Examples of workplace adjustments for Long COVID
- Prevention of infection: risk management in the workplace
- Workplace public health messages
There are also some excellent case studies.
SOM would like to see organisations take a strategic, planned approach to managing this workforce health issue, using occupational health input, rather than leave it to individual line managers alone to decide how to best manage each case.