Dealing with Long-Covid – a guide to employers - Part 3 of 5

Scenario 3: Front-line worker becomes very ill from long COVID

Sophie-Ann worked as a front-line NHS worker for the first 12 months of the pandemic. However, she has contracted coronavirus and has been seriously ill with Long-Covid since then. The length of absence has now triggered her employer's long-term sickness absence formal review process.

What the employer should do: - 

The concern in this case might be that Sophie-Ann has contracted her injury while at work. This will not prevent the normal absence management process being followed which ultimately may lead to Sophie-Ann's dismissal on the basis of capability. Even when the injury has been caused by the negligence of the employer, that will not mean that the employer must hold the job open indefinitely. Any loss to the employee as a result can be recovered through a personal injury claim.

Unless the medical assessment makes it clear that Sophie-Ann is likely to remain off sick for an indefinite period, in reality, as an NHS employee, it is highly likely that the NHS will go the extra mile in seeking to retain the services of someone who has served in such difficult circumstances.

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