Acas publishes long-Covid advice
Acas has published advice for employers and workers in response to the growing impact of long Covid in the workplace.
It notes that the Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates that over one million people have reported experiencing long Covid.
The advice sets out symptoms of long Covid identified by the NHS. These include extreme fatigue, problems with memory and concentration ("brain fog"), insomnia, heart palpitations, joint pain and depression and anxiety. The Acas advice states that once someone has been diagnosed with long Covid then employers and workers should discuss the impacts as early as possible and work together to find ways to help support those who are suffering from it. Possible support options will include offering flexible working and considering reasonable adjustments.
The usual rules for sickness absence and sick pay will apply when someone is off work due to long Covid.
The Acas advice points out that long Covid has been found to more severely affect older people, ethnic minorities and women, and states that employers must avoid discriminating by age, race or sex. There's also the possibility that long Covid may amount to a disability in which case disability discrimination must also be avoided.