In the summer, when shielding ended we published a letter for everyone who is at highest risk from Covid-19 to use in discussion with their employers about how to keep safe at work. We were delighted that many people used it and many charities shared it. We publish this updated letter as people are again asked to work from home wherever possible, protective measures such as facemask wearing are strengthened and the booster programme is broadened and accelerated. We also continue to learn about the potential for reduced vaccine protection among some people who are immunosuppressed due to a health condition or treatment.
Against this backdrop and uncertainty about the Omicron variant, we are urging employers to do all they can to enable employees at higher risk from Covid-19 to work from home to reduce their risk of contracting Covid. To protect those who cannot work from home, strict adherence by employers to risk reducing measures (set out in working safely guidance) remains as important as ever.
In the letter, we have highlighted the following key points:
- Enable working from home wherever possible
- Risk assessments
- Safety best practice
- Reasonable adjustments
- Mental wellbeing support
Individuals will have different views on what feels right for them, and some of you may have very legitimate concerns about your own ongoing risks from Covid-19. We hope this will be discussed during the risk assessment process and have a significant bearing on decision making.
Thousands of people living with health conditions have told us they are worried that their needs have been forgotten throughout the pandemic. We want this to change, and there are many charities available to help you with condition-specific advice.
You can download the letter here and can share with your employer as you have discussions about your safety at work.
Fiona Loud, Policy Director at Kidney Care UK said: “As Covid concerns are growing again and government advice is changing, we urge all employers to understand how they can continue to protect those that remain vulnerable.”
The full list of charities involved is as follows:
- Anthony Nolan
- Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance
- Blood Cancer UK
- Bowel Cancer UK
- Centre for Ageing Better
- Cystic Fibrosis Trust
- Diabetes UK
- Immunodeficiency UK
- Kidney Care UK
- Kidney Research UK
- MS Society
- Muscular Dystrophy UK
- National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society
- National Kidney Federation
- National Voices
- The PKD Charity
- Scleroderma and Raynaud’s UK
- The Neurological Alliance
- The Aplastic Anaemia Trust
- Versus Arthritis
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