When is long-COVID a disability?

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When is long-COVID a disability?

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This is a news story from Stephenson Harwood, a law firm with its headquarters in London. This is on the classification of long-COVID as a disability. Using the Equality Act from 2010, it classifies a disability as physical or mental impairment which would prevent someone's ability to carry out daily activities.

Using a case of Burke v Turning Point Scotland, it describes Mr. Burke developing long-COVID symptoms, which prevented him from doing work. He describes immense fatigue, where tasks like showering would become exhausting. Due to this, he remained off work, with his sick pay ending around June 2021. In August 2021, he was dismissed on grounds of ill health. The ruling with the Scottish Employment Tribunal declared that between November 25, 2020 and August 13, 2021 that Mr. Burke was disabled. For his specific case, he can now file disability discrimination against the company, but it does not mean the employer discriminated.

The law firm suggests that employers develop methods to better serve employees that could end up having long-COVID. Some of these suggestions include: change in policies around disability services, changes in communication to handle an employee suffering from long-COVID, and a supportive environment where employees will feel comfortable giving updates on their symptoms.

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This item was submitted on July 8, 2022 by [anonymous user] using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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