Handling diabetes in the workplace
There are around 4.5 million people living with diabetes in the UK and approximately 700 diagnoses per day, the equivalent of one person every two minutes. In the last 20 years, the number of people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK has more than doubled and it is estimated that there are around 1.1 million people in the UK who have diabetes but have not been diagnosed.
This week is Diabetes week which aims to raise awareness of the condition, and we, therefore, thought it would be a good opportunity to consider an employer’s obligations and how they can help employees who have this lifelong condition.
Is diabetes a disability?
“Disability” is defined in the Equality Act 2010 as a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
There are 2 types of diabetes: type 1, which is an autoimmune condition affecting around 10% of sufferers and type 2, which is caused by a complex interplay of genetic and environmental factors and affects around 90% of sufferers.
There is no straightforward answer as to whether diabetes amounts to a disability for the purposes of the Equality Act. Each case would be assessed on its own facts, and would focus on the impact the condition has on the employee’s ability to carry out day to day activities and whether a treatment or correction or a coping or avoidance strategy was applied to manage it.
If a condition is treated or corrected, guidance suggests the effect of that treatment or correction should be ignored when assessing the condition a Continue reading