Work discrimination affects one in six people with diabetes, charity reveals

Jack Woodfield
Wed, 11 Apr 2018
Work discrimination affects one in six people with diabetes, charity reveals
One in six people with diabetes in the UK say they have experienced workplace discrimination, a new survey reveals.

According to a Diabetes UK poll, more than a third of those with diabetes have encountered issues with their employer relating to the condition, and the charity hopes these findings will inspire more conversation regarding long-term health conditions in the workplace.

The survey of 10,000 people revealed 25% would favour being given time off or having more flexibility so they could attend medical appointments or test their blood sugar at work.

It is not essential for people with diabetes to inform their employer that they have diabetes, and 7% of respondents said they had not told their boss about their condition.

Helen Dickens, Assistant Director of Campaigns and Mobilisation at Diabetes UK, said: "Thousands of people across the UK have spoken out about how a lack of understanding from their employers can make working with diabetes not just exhausting and stressful, but also potentially life-threatening.

"Discrimination and difficulties come about because employers lack knowledge about diabetes and do not understand its impact. We need to talk more about the condition and the many ways it affects people’s lives in order to persuade workplaces to offer greater understanding and flexibility."

Many people with diabetes do not see themselves as having a disability, Diabetes UK says, but the condition is recognised under the Equality Act 2010, which states that your employer should be expected to make reasonable adjustments to prevent discrimination taking place.

Martin Hirst, chief executive of the charity InDependent Diabetes Trust, said: "The survey highlights the need for BOTH employers AND employees to be aware of both their Rights and Responsibilities at work under the Equality Act.

"For example, failure to disclose the condition could force a breach of health and safety regulations and could pose a risk to not only the person with diabetes but also their co-workers."
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