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CIPD research reveals half of employers have staff with long Covid

Experts urge firms to train line managers to recognise long Covid

According to the CPID, nearly half of firms have employees who have experienced long Covid during the last year, a poll of employers has found, with experts urging businesses to train line managers to support staff with the illness.

The survey of HR and L&D professionals, conducted by the CIPD and Simplyhealth, found 46 per cent of organisations had employees who experienced long Covid symptoms in the last 12 months, with one in four (26 per cent) now listing the condition among their main causes of long-term sickness absence.

Long Covid, also sometimes known as ‘post-Covid syndrome’, is where signs or symptoms of coronavirus last for longer than 12 weeks after an initial infection. The most common reported symptoms include fatigue, breathing issues and cognitive dysfunction.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that nearly 2 per cent of the population – some 1.3 million people – reported having the condition last year.

The CIPD report cautioned that long Covid disproportionately affected those aged 35 to 69, those living in deprived areas, and women. It is also more likely to affect those who work in health and social care, and people who already have an activity-limiting health condition or disability.

It also found that the vast majority (85 per cent) of those with the illness experience worsening symptoms after a period of improvement, noting that relapse often presented individuals with new symptoms.

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