Working with Long COVID - Guide for employees working with long COVID
An estimated 1.3 million people were experiencing long COVID as at January 2022. Some have ongoing symptoms that are serious enough to prevent them from working. Many others feel able to do some work but say they experience barriers that prevent them from returning to work, or working well on their return.
As a new, potentially serious, health condition, many people with long COVID face a period of great uncertainty as they wait for confirmation of a diagnosis and an effective management plan. Many individuals often return to work too quickly. Consequently, their return to work is less likely to be sustainable and there are longer-term risks to their health.
Having a long-term health condition such as long COVID can have a big impact on how someone feels about being able to return to work, and their ability to stay in work. However, this impact can be lessened when work is designed and managed in a supportive and flexible way by your employer.
This guide is designed to help employees with long COVID to access the appropriate workplace support to help them return to, and stay in, work. This guide has been developed by Affinity Health at Work, the University of Sheffield and the CIPD, and outlines practical recommendations developed from the CIPD Working with long COVID research.
It draws on evidence and research with returning workers, line managers, occupational health, employment advisers, and rehabilitation professionals as well as HR
professionals and the Long Covid Support group.