Supporting employees with long-term health conditions

Information on the legislation that impacts on the return to work of employees with long-term health conditions

Legislation impacting on long-term health conditions

Some health conditions will automatically meet the disability definition under the Equality Act 2010 from the day of diagnosis, such as cancer.

Other long-term health conditions – such as, diabetes and epilepsy – are likely to meet the disability definition under the act as these are long term conditions which require lifelong treatment and will have a significant impact on day to day activities. However, it is a legal decision, not a medical decision to determine whether or not an individual is covered under the Equality Act 2010 (external site).

Many health conditions will require temporary or some times longer term, regular hospital or specialist appointments for treatment. This authorised absence, outwith the normal organisation's sickness absence triggers, should be considered as an appropriate adjustment under the Equality Act 2010. This could be identified within your Supporting Staff Attendance Policy. If you feel your policy doesn't include this, then you can get support on what it should include by using our attendance policy pages.

It is important to address the Equality Act when supporting staff to return to, or remain in, work.

As an employer, you should understand your legal responsibilities in this and other areas, including:

  • Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
  • Data Protection Act 1998
  • Employment Rights Acts

If you have questions or require extra support, message us or call our advice line on 0800 019 2211.