Navigating Long COVID: Employee Benefits and Support Programmes

 Mar 11, 2024 | 3 Min Read

Table of Contents

For employees working and dealing with long COVID, an unsupportive workplace can be a major hindrance to their healing process. As employers, the responsibility lies with you to create and maintain benefit policies and support programmes that focus on the areas wherein employees are most vulnerable. In this post, we’ll explore 10 key employee benefits and supports that employers can implement for staff navigating long COVID.
  1. Flexible work arrangements: Offer remote work options, adjusted schedules, or part-time hours to accommodate employees with long COVID, who may experience chronic fatigue or other debilitating symptoms.
  2. Extended sick leave policies: Offer additional paid or unpaid sick leaveto employees with long COVID, allowing them adequate time to recover without financial worries.
  3. Mental health support: Offer confidential counselling services, support groups, and resources to help employees manage the stress, anxiety, and depression often associated with long COVID.
  4. Return-to-work support: Develop individualised return-to-work plans in collaboration with employees, including phased returns, modified duties, or additional training as necessary to support their successful return to the workplace.
  5. Wellness programmes: Offering wellness programmes to employees could help with the long-term effects of long COVID, including activities such as yoga, meditation, mindfulness sessions, and nutrition counselling.
  6. Health insurance coverage: One of the most effective ways to help employees is to offer them comprehensive health insurance coverage. For those with long COVID, this could include coverage for treatments, therapies, medications, and specialists needed to manage the symptoms.
  7. Remote work equipment and support: Equip employees working remotely due to long COVID with the necessary resources such as laptops, ergonomic chairs, and internet stipends.
  8. Community resources referral: Connecting employees with community resources and support services outside the workplace, such as local support groups or nonprofit organisations, can be a powerful tool to help them feel more at ease with their diagnosis.
  9. Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs): Enhance your company’s existing EAPs to provide additional support tailored to the needs of employees with long COVID. This may look like financial assistance or resources to help with the legal or financial challenges associated with chronic illness.
  10. Mental health days: Dealing with long COVID can take a toll on your mental health, especially when struggling with symptoms like fatigue and brain fog. Additional mental health days or personal days can be of great help to employees with long COVID to prioritize self-care and mental wellbeing.
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