Workers with lung conditions ‘prepared to quit’ rather than return post Covid-19

Workers with lung conditions are so worried about returning to their workplace some will risk being fired if they are forced to go back, respiratory charities have warned.

A survey by Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation has found that 83% of workers with a lung condition, who have not been going to their workplace, are anxious about their return in the next few months.

One in seven (15%) workers with a lung condition said they would refuse to return to their workplace, even if this meant losing their job. A third (32%) did not believe their workplace is or would be “Covid secure”, while two-thirds (69%) were concerned about going back to work but felt they would have to do so anyway. More than a fifth (11%) said they were unable to say if they could commute to work safely and 8% said they could not.

The charities are urging employers to be understanding with their employees who have a lung condition and engage with their individual needs. This could include an ongoing option to work at home or redeployment to a lower risk role.

Sarah MacFadyen, head of policy at Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation, said: “It cannot be right that people are having to make the choice between their health and their wealth.

“Employers must engage constructively with their workers so that no one with a lung condition feels forced to return to a workplace which is not Covid secure and puts them at increased risk of catching the virus,” she added.

One Response to Workers with lung conditions ‘prepared to quit’ rather than return post Covid-19

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    Pauline Thomas 18 Apr 2021 at 4:56 pm #

    I am in that dilemma as am extremely clinically vulnerable with asthma and COPD and my work is in a residential home, where they have had COVID-19.. My employer is unable/ unwillingness to make adjustments to my job role or offer me alternative work.
    In addition I am now suffering from and receiving treatment for mental health issues.

    Due to the high risks COVID-19 feel it is no longer an environment that is safe for me to work in.

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