A third of people living with diabetes experience lack of support and understanding from colleagues in the workplace. Research from Diabetes UK has found that one in six people with diabetes in work, feel that they’ve been discriminated against by their employer because of their condition.
The survey also found that more than one third (37%) of respondents said that living with diabetes had caused them difficulty at work, while 7% had not told their employer that they have the condition. A quarter of people said that they would like time off work for diabetes-related appointments and flexibility to take regular breaks for testing their blood sugar or to take medication.
Building on this Diabetes UK have this month published a position statement on diabetes and employment. This sets out the available evidence. Further it makes recommendations for employers, schools, health and employment services, and decision makers to ensure people with diabetes or caring for someone with diabetes can safely manage their diabetes and achieve their potential at work.
Read the position statement here.
Diabetes in the workplace
Helen Dickens, Assistant Director of Campaigns and Mobilisation at Diabetes UK, said:
“Thousands of people across the UK have spoken out about how a lack of understanding from their employers can make working with diabetes not just exhausting and stressful, but also potentially life-threatening. We heard from people who had to give up their jobs in order to manage their condition safely.
“Discrimination and difficulties come about because employers lack knowledge about diabetes and do not understand its impact. We need to talk more about the condition and the many ways it affects people’s lives in order to persuade places of work to offer greater understanding and flexibility. Everyone deserves to work in an environment where they can ask for the support they need.”