Going back to work after Shielding !! - Asthma UK communi...

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Going back to work after Shielding !!


Hello. I have been a member on the forum for a while and read many of the posts but don't often post. I am a 56 yr old female with severe Asthma, ABPA or aspergillosis and Bronchiectasis. I have been shielding since mid March. I have been going out for walks, keeping away from people. I am concerned about the next steps as many of you are.

I work in a department store as a sales Advisor and wondered if anyone else here works in retail? What are your thoughts about going back to your job. The last letter says to keep at least 2 metres away from people. I am going to ask my GP about my work situation but thought I would also ask here.

The store is doing all the necessary preparations and providing visors for everyone. I still think it's a right wrist situation to put myself in.

Thanks for reading and any comments welcome.


5 Replies

DP51 - as you are shielding the new rules means you are not allowed to go back to work until 1st August if you can't work from home.

As you are shielding your employer should be aware of your condition, advise you speak to your HR or Occupational Therapy dept. If the organisation does not have this then you need to speak to the manager.

Discuss concerns and ask what they are doing to make the environment COVID secure. Remember under the Equality Act 2010 they need to make reasonable adjustments so should do a risk assessment for your condition and identify measures to mitigate and safeguard you as is their Duty of Care.

Talking to your GP/Consultant will be a good idea. Even asking them to provide advice and guidance to your employer on the multiple conditions you mention.

There is 5 weeks to prepare for you going back so there is time for them to ensure your safety.

Your employer should seek an occupational health assessment to establish what reasonable adjustments can be made to protect you at work. Contact your employer to say that you will shield until the end of July but can only return to work if everything has been made Covid safe with your medical conditions in mind which are covered by the Equality Act 2010. If they don't have access to occupational health services then you can use a government scheme called Access to Work. gov.uk/access-to-work

Occupational health assessments are carried out by a professional practitioner and are different to a workplace risk assessment which can be carried out by anyone competent who has done the training - it's a lesser assessment and usually done by a manager or HR.

It will take time to arrange an occupational health review so make sure you give your employer or Access to Work plenty of advance notice.

I don't really have any advice or thoughts, just wanted to say good luck! I can imagine it must feel unnerving to go back into public for work.

I'm sure you will be extra good about handwashing, sanitizing, and mask use which are the best things you can do.

And for what it's worth, I'm a severe asthmatic and I got covid and my body handled it pretty well. It was a rough few weeks and my lungs are still a bit inflammed but like the 98%+ of people have the mild or moderate form of the illness, I was ok at the end of the day.

Take good care!

Hi. Thanks to you all for your replies. Very helpful.

I’m supposed to go back next month in retail slightly worried as I’m now pregnant been told things in place but not sure how it will affect me now in early stages

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