The survey of 804 organisations, representing more than 4.3 million employees, also found one in four (26%) employers now include long COVID among their main causes of long-term sickness absence.
However, a fifth (20%) of employers said they didn’t know whether any employees have experienced ongoing symptoms from COVID-19 in the last year, suggesting the problem could be underestimated as a workplace issue.
Only a quarter (26%) of organisations are providing training/guidance for line managers on how to support people to stay at work when managing health conditions, and an even smaller number (19%) provide any guidance for employees. This means some employees may be missing out on vital support from their employer or may not feel confident about how to disclose any issues and get the right support.
In response, the CIPD is calling on organisations to urgently review their health and wellbeing strategy and ensure they are providing effective support for those with long COVID, recognising that each individual’s experience is different.
Encouragingly, of those employers with employees who have experienced long COVID, many are taking steps to support their staff, such as:
- Offering occupational health assessments (70%)
- Tailoring support to individual need (60%)
- Promoting flexible working (58%)
CIPD and VRA member Affinity Health at Work have today released a new report ‘Working with long COVID: Research evidence to inform support’ which is available here