Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Advice for people with diabetes and their families

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Coronavirus - safety at work

To make our voices heard we’ve joined forces with over 10 charities, including Age UK, Macmillan and Parkinson's UK.
Together, we're demanding the UK government to do more to keep people at high risk of becoming seriously ill from coronavirus, who can't safely return to work. 

Sign the petition

Stand with us and sign the petition urging the government to act now.

More support needed for people with diabetes

We know that many people with diabetes are keen to return to their normal lives - as far as is possible at this time - and this includes work too.

But we also know that too many people are still not getting the support they need from their employers to stay safe at work. This means some of those at higher risk of becoming seriously ill if they do get coronavirus are having to choose between their work and their safety, and that’s not right. 

We have heard from thousands of you about the challenges you’re facing in the workplace because of coronavirus. In our recent survey of people with diabetes working outside of home, two thirds of you don't feel safe at work. And over half of you said that your employer is not making sure you can social distance at work. 

Find out more about your rights at work and where to find out more about the differences in guidance across the UK.

The UK government issued new guidance for employers in May, as lockdown restrictions began to ease. But it is clear from our findings that this does not go far enough to ensure safety at work for people with diabetes.

In June, 12,228 people signed our open letter to the UK governments urgently calling for better protection for people with diabetes at work.

We've now delivered this letter, but we need to do more to make sure they listen.

The UK government has now also responded to our joint petition. They acknowledged some of the concerns that vulnerable people face at work - but disappointingly, they won't commit to providing more support to keep them safe. 

We won't stop here. We'll continue fighting your corner to make sure that essential protections at work are in place, so no one with diabetes has to choose between their job and their health.  

Can you help make the case? 

Over the past few months we've seen hundreds of people reaching out to their local decision makers urging them to commit to our calls on employment. But only a few of them have backed our demands for better workplace protection for people with diabetes. 

We need to keep up the pressure and make sure that governments across the UK listen to us and take action. 

Email your Parliamentary Representative

If you have experienced challenges in your workplace, will you email your parliamentary representative to call on governments across the UK to protect vulnerable people, with clearer and stronger guidelines for employees and employers?

Our calls

We are asking the Secretary of State and the devolved equivalent ministers in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to make sure that:

  • The development of a recognised, standard COVID-19 risk assessment tool is fast-tracked, allowing the assessment of a person's individual risk based on different factors (such as age, sex, ethnicity and health conditions) to take place. We are also calling for a robust process to be put in place to ensure that the advice a person is offered from the use of this tool will inform decisions about their own safety in the workplace.
  • Until then, people who are clinically vulnerable, including people with diabetes, should have a right to stay working at home at this time.
  • If an employer cannot facilitate this and the employee still has concerns, they should have access to fair remuneration such as the option to be furloughed. This should be through an extension of the UK Government's job retention scheme for those who are vulnerable to serious harm from coronavirus. People who are at risk of serious harm should not have to decide between their health or financial security.
  • There must be robust enforcement of guidance on employment protections for clinically vulnerable people and workplace COVID-19 risk assessments which specifically address their safety.
  • There must be effective and proactive communication of these measures so that people with diabetes know their rights.

The evidence

We ran a survey to understand the difficulties you're facing at work, so we can better fight your corner. Here's what you said:

  • Two thirds of people (67%) working outside of home with diabetes don't feel safe in their workplace.
  • 54% of people with diabetes working outside of their home said their employer was not supporting them to social distance in the workplace.
  • 45% of people with diabetes working, or soon to return to work outside of their home do not feel confident raising concerns about workplace safety (including social distancing) with their employer.
  • 54% of people whose employer have carried out, or are in the process of carrying out a risk assessment have not been consulted about it. This means that employers are at increased risk of not understanding the concerns people with diabetes may have about going to work.
  • More than half (57%) of people with diabetes don’t know where to get support when they need to resolve a workplace safety issue.

This evidence builds on our first survey about coronavirus in April, where we found that 43% of key workers were anxious about being able to social distance at work, and their employer hadn’t made changes about this. And 55% of people with diabetes reported having an issue with their work. This is not right.

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