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Great Britain: employers recommended not to consider long Covid as a disability

Through . Published on 12 May 2022 à 12h06 - Update on 12 May 2022 à 12h06

On 09 May, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)*, released an update of its recommendations in which it says that employers should not have to recognise ‘long Covid’ as a disability. As a result, employees living with ‘long Covid’ cannot make recourse to the Equality Act 2010, which protects employees from all forms of discrimination. ‘Discussions continue on whether ‘long Covid’ symptoms constitute a disability. Without case law or scientific consensus, EHRC does not recommend that ‘long Covid’ be treated as a disability,’ the agency recommended. It did, however, ask employers to show understanding and flexibility and called for disputes to be brought before an ‘employment tribunal or court considering any claim of disability discrimination.’ The TUC trade union confederation, which has been calling for the immediate recognition of ‘long Covid’ as a disability, denounced the agency’s position, writing that the EHRC is giving ‘license to bad bosses to deny reasonable adjustments to those experiencing long Covid.’ According to Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures, 1.8 million across the UK are currently undergoing symptoms of long Covid (fatigue, breathing difficulties, cognitive impairment…).*EHRC is a non-departmental public body that has responsibility for the promotion and enforcement of equality and non-discrimination laws in England, Scotland and Wales.

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