Information and guidance for employers on supporting employees who have inflammatory bowel disease including legal obligations
Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19), there may be further support required for your employee who has a health condition due to inflammatory bowel disease.
They may be in the category identified by the Scottish Government at very high risk of severe illness from COVID-19. To protect themselves, they have been issued with a letter informing them of
shielding (external site) and what this means for them.
Within this shielding letter, there is lots of information on support for them. They can also use this to provide evidence to you as their employer that they cannot work outside their own home.
If they have not received a letter requesting them to follow shielding protocol, you may find that they still fall into a category of higher risk. This can be identified by the fact they get offered the flu vaccine by their GP. They do not need to accept this offer, but they need to have been classified by their GP as needing it because of their health condition.
These pages give more information on the specific condition. They should be read in conjunction with our
Supporting employees with long term health conditions pages to help you understand how a workplace can assist in helping an employee return to and remain at work.
The term Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is used mainly to describe two conditions: ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. These are long term conditions that involve inflammation of the gut.
Ulcerative colitis only affects the colon (the large intestine) whereas Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the digestive system, from the mouth to the anus.
People of any age can get IBD, but it is usually diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 40.
Symptoms of IBD include
You may find employees with a diagnosis of IBD may have increased levels of sickness absence or they may need to attend the GP or their specialist more frequently than those without the health condition.
Authorised absence, out with the normal organisation sickness absence triggers, should be considered an appropriate adjustment under the Equality Act 2010, this would be identified within your Supporting Staff Attendance Policy.
If you feel your policy doesn’t include this, you can get support from our
Supporting staff attendance pages.
Other areas that you can consider when supporting an employee with IBD may include
Key sources of support for both the employer and employee include
Healthy Working Lives can help you to develop supportive and inclusive workplace policies and offer support both online and on the telephone. You can contact the free and confidential advice line on 0800 019 2211 for more advice.
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For information on workplace health, safety and wellbeing, you can speak to one of our specialist advisors.