“It’s time to recognise this condition as occupational, and make sure workers who are living with post-Covid symptoms get the support they need.”
By the Trades Union Congress (TUC)
Commenting on a report published by the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council – the body advising government on which diseases should be classified as work-related – which recommends that health and social care workers experiencing long term symptoms following Covid infection should be able to claim industrial injuries benefit – TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:
“Workers in health and social care are among the most likely to be infected with Covid-19 while doing their job, and many are still suffering the consequences of long-term ill health effects.
“It’s time to recognise this condition as occupational, and make sure workers who are living with post-Covid symptoms get the support they need.
“The government has followed IIAC advice on work-related disease prescription for seventy-five years. Now cannot be the time they do not take heed of the Council’s advice. Ministers must accept the recommendations of the IIAC and ensure that our health and social care workers, made long-term ill as a result of Covid exposure at work, get financial support.
“We owe this to the key workers who kept our country going through the pandemic. Anything less would be a national scandal.”
The TUC is calling on government to go further and recognise Long Covid as:
- A disability. Some people with Long Covid are already recognised as disabled under the law but adding it as a named disability to the Equality Act would ensure everyone with symptoms is protected and would have a right to get reasonable adjustments at work.
- An occupational disease. in other sectors beyond health and social care.: this would entitle more front-line workers to protection and compensation if they contracted the virus while working.