Long Covid-19 (LBG)
Throughout the pandemic we've been hearing more and more a condition called 'long Covid', so let's have a look at what it is and how your employer will support you if you've developed this condition following a Covid-19 infection.
What is long Covid?
Many people that contract Covid-19 symptomatically will recover in a few days or weeks - although some people can take as long as 12 weeks to fully recover. Long Covid, or post-Covid-19 syndrome is the lasting symptoms that people feel or have after the infection has gone. The lasting symptoms can include:
- Brain fog or problems with memory or concentration making day-to-day life difficult.
- Fatigue and exhaustion, which may also be exacerbated by difficulty sleeping
- Joint and/or muscle pain, or pins and needles and tingling
- Reduced vision and / or hearing
- Shortness of breath, chest pain or tightness
- And many other potential symptoms
You can find more information on the long-term impacts of Covid-19 on the NHS website.
How will my employer support me if I have long Covid?
You can expect the support of Lloyds Banking Group to help you to best manage your symptoms and your work, in the same way that you would for any other long-term medical condition. This means that adjustments should be considered, tailored to the support you need. Some examples could include:
- Adjusting your hours of work, workloads, and considering flexibility about how and when you do your work.
- Ensuring you have the correct equipment to support you, including desks, chairs and IT equipment.
- Where vision or hearing is impacted, considering assistive technology, or adapting how things are done may be of help. For example, enabling transcripts or live captions in virtual meetings can keep you engaged if you're struggling to follow what's happening, or getting software to help you find your way on your screen better.
- Occupational health referrals offer insight from medical professionals to help support you and the business in making the right decisions for you.
- Private medical insurance provided by Bupa can help you see the right medical professionals to support your recovery - and don't forget you can claim 50% of the excess you pay back through the union (eligibility criteria apply).
- The bank offer an Employee Assistance Programme run by Validium which can offer you support, guidance and access to counselling should you need it. You can also gain access to independent support through the Bank Workers Charity.
In March 2020, the bank introduced an emergency response which included paying full pay to anybody who was unable to work during the pandemic, no matter what. This includes all periods of isolation, sickness and long-term absences that were registered after the 27th March 2020.
What this means in practice is that any absence, no matter whether it's a day or a month, is paid in full, and does not come off your sick pay entitlements.
However, this is policy is an emergency response, and normal rules will be applied again which we expect to come once we've stepped back from the emergency nature of the situation.
Regardless of how you will be paid, the business will continue to manage absence under the Health Wellbeing and Attendance policy - this will involve having informal wellbeing discussions and having a wellness plan in place tailored to support you. The business should consider carefully all circumstances and review with HR before moving to the formal part of the process.
If you need support, or you think you're being treated unfairly, contact your local Accord officer to discuss further. Feel free to chat to us through our online chat (available Monday-Friday 9am-5pm), or drop us an email to [email protected].
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