Education personnel
Occupational health
Trade union

UK | Advocacy for the recognition of “Long Covid” as an occupational disease for teachers by NASUWT

Hawa Fatty
July 20, 2021

Affiliated to Education International and a member of the ESN, NASUWT is at the forefront of actions to support and enforce the rights of education workers, particularly regarding occupational health.

In June 2021, the union launched the ” Long Covid ” campaign to have the condition recognised as an occupational disease for teachers in the UK.

Chris Weavers (the union’s communications officer) shared with ESN members the significance of this campaign during the Education and Solidarity Network’s “Solidarity Initiatives” webinar on 13 July 2021.

” Long Covid “, refers to the set of persistent symptoms following the contraction of Covid; including in young people, people with little or no medical history or who have not been hospitalised following the disease.

Since the start of the pandemic in the UK, more than 5 million people have contracted the coronavirus and according to data collected by NASUWT, more than 1 million of them are now living with Long Covid. Just behind health professionals, education workers are the second most likely to be affected, according to the union.

This is why NASUWT has launched a campaign to urge the authorities to legally recognise Long Covid as a long-term occupational condition. The aim is for this recognition to have an impact on the protection systems of education workers so that they can benefit from reasonable adjustments, more flexibility in their work, protection against discrimination by their employers, the inclusion of the disease in their pension records, but also financial compensation in case they are unable to work due to the contraction of the disease.

To extend the reach of the campaign, Chris Weavers explains that the union has created a number of tools and coordinated actions, including multiple social media posts, webinars, articles and press releases, as well as letters to the government and templates to help union members address their MPs directly.

Find out more about the campaign in this video and on the dedicated page of the NASUWT website.

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