Report shows workers in education, healthcare, social care appear more at risk
LONDON, ENGLAND — The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) has advised the government to urgently implement guidelines, including fair compensation, for workers affected by “long COVID”, which it said is having “a major impact on the UK workforce.”
The advice was included amongst 10 recommendations the APPG made in an extensive report on long COVID — the phrase used to describe long-term ailments experienced by individuals who had previously tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
“The UK government should urgently produce guidelines for employers in both private and public sectors on managing the impact of long COVID amongst their workforce,” the group urged.
It added, “The government should launch a compensation scheme available to all frontline key workers living with long COVID.
“The scheme should mirror the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, recognise the relapsing nature of long COVID, and go beyond existing sick pay schemes.”
According to the APP’s data, “key workers appear to be more at risk of long COVID.”
“Self-reported COVID-19 symptoms persisting for longer than four weeks were reported at a higher percentage for those working in education (3.79 percent), healthcare (3.69 percent), or social care (3.79 percent), compared to all groups (2.36 percent),” the report outlined.
Additionally, the APP noted more women than men were self-reporting long COVID systems, at percentages of 2.72 as compared to 1.99 respectively.
While research on the subject remains ongoing, the APPG noted its own findings have already shown long COVID’s significant impact on metrics like how much sick leave is being taken by employees suffering from the illness, especially those working in healthcare.
“Research conducted by the APPG on coronavirus has estimated that 1.82 million days were lost to healthcare workers with long COVID from March 2020 to September 2021 across England’s 219 NHS (National Health Service) trusts,” the group noted.
It also revealed, “A survey conducted last month by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development found that a quarter of UK employers cited long COVID as one of the main causes of long-term sickness absence among their staff.”
APPG on Coronavirus Chair Layla Moran said, “Long COVID is already affecting 1.5 million people in the UK, and if the government fails to fully grasp the enormity of this challenge now, we could be hurtling towards a long-term health and workforce crisis in the future.”
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