Is long covid a disability?
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has responded to discussion of the various symptoms related to Covid-19 that are often referred to as “Long Covid” and, in particular, whether they would constitute a disability under the Equality Act. It is unlikely that all cases of Long Covid will fall under the definition of disability in the Equality Act”, according to the EHRC.
However, it goes on to clarify that this does not affect whether Long Covid might amount to a disability for any particular individual; it will do so if it has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
As with any long-term absence, employers should ensure they are conducting regular welfare meetings with affected staff members and reviewing the support measures which could be implemented to assist them in the workplace.
Employers should also bear in mind that Long Covid will affect each individual differently, so adjustments must be personalised to each employee, in line with their specific needs. This means making specific adjustments to support individuals based on their circumstances, their role and their condition.
121 HR Solutions has a wide range of experience in managing long term absence and assisting employers with reasonable adjustments. Contact us on 0800 9995 121.