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Supporting employees with long term health conditions

Advice and guidance for employers in supporting employees with long term health conditions returning to and continuing in work

​If an employee has a long term condition, then vocational (work) rehabilitation can help them return to and remain in work. This also benefits the organisation in retaining a productive member of their team.

The workplace is a suitable environment to support employees and provide interventions that allow them to come to work or continue at work. Other agencies can provide appropriate healthcare or treatment, which the employer can also access and use for support.

  1. Supporting a return to work
  2. Risk assessment and health conditions
  3. Next steps
  4. Legislation impacting on long term health conditions

​2. Risk assessment and health conditions

It is important to ensure that a personalised risk assessment is carried out and identified risk reduction measures, both mental and physical, are put in place to help the individual remain at work. A risk assessment should be carried out when an employee

  • reports a health condition that could impact on, or be affected by work activities
  • requires work adjustments
  • plans to return to work.

The key areas a return to work risk assessment should include are

  • physical aspects of the work, including impacts on others
  • physical demands and limitations - ergonomic or job design changes
  • impact of fatigue and medication on work tasks
  • psychological demands of the work
  • if work involves use of any hazardous substances which may be contraindicated whilst receiving treatment
  • risks of infection
  • the journey to work (how far, mode of transport, time of day)
  • access requirements at work (parking facilities, toilet facilities)
  • driving as part of their job role for work
  • work breaks in the working day
  • managing working hours with flexible working or prohibiting overtime
  • emergency planning
  • if working at home, ensuring the environment is safe and ergonomically sound.