The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) has published two new guides to help employers and employees work together to get back into the workplace.
Tailored to either workers or managers, each guide offers easy-to-follow advice on keeping in touch during sickness leave, the back-to-work interview, measures such as temporary adjustments to working hours or duties, and where to get help.
Covid-19 infection and Long Covid – guide for workers explains the challenges that returning workers face after suffering with Covid-19, whether affected by acute illness or longer term symptoms, also known as Long Covid. It points out that some symptoms can persist long after diagnosis, and their condition may vary from one day to the next. The guide covers keeping in touch with the employer, managing a phased return and the support offered by occupational health services.
The second publication, Covid-19 infection and Long Covid – guide for managers provides simple solutions for both managers and workers on how to manage getting back to work. It acknowledges the vital role managers play in helping employees to return to work after Covid and sets out the steps that managers should take to give their workers the best chance of getting back to work and staying in work.
It covers making contact with the employee, arranging a phased return and discussing adjustments to the worker’s duties and schedules to enable them to cope. The guide also outlines the support that is available for managers from occupational health services and human resources.
'Workers will require different levels of support depending on their role and any ongoing symptoms, so listening to their needs and checking in regularly are key,' the agency points out.
'By working together, workers can get back on their feet and managers can get valued team members back into the workplace.'