Working, CLL and Covid: Hi, I am about to start... - CLL Support

CLL Support

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Working, CLL and Covid

Kenn123 profile image


I am about to start a new teaching position after a career break of two years. Suddenly occupational health are saying I have to undergo a Covid risk assessment and may not be allowed to teach in class.

I know I won't get the job if I can't work in person. Anyone else out there working with CLL? I'm on Venetoclax but doing very well and I'm vaccinated.

Thank you.

17 Replies

Hi am fully vaccinated and work in retail in a very busy large home improvement store. It is your employers duty of care to protect you and not to do so is discrimination. (See the disability act). You are not at more risk of contracting Covid because of your condition but you are at greater risk of hospitalisation as i understand it. the more learned on the forum may be able to help. Best wishes.

Kenn123 profile image
Kenn123 in reply to Jacksc06

Thank you.

lankisterguy profile image

Hi Kenn123,-

If you really want to work, and you can wear a FFP2 or FFP3 facemask all day every day while at work, and especially if you want to take the risk, then you may want to just answer the questions that are asked.


I find that if I answer a question like "do you have cancer" I say yes.

or "Are you currently in treatment or have had treatment" I say yes.


IMO- unless you volunteer the information about being immune compromised, most people except those directly connected to CLL do not know that detail. So don't provide more information than requested, and make your own decision about the risk.



I'm a teacher as well. I have worked from home this year as a SENCO but I'm expected to go back to school/class in September.

I'm waiting for a risk assessment and occupational health as well, I asked for it and won't go back until it's done. They don't seem be in a rush to get it done and quite frankly, that's ok. If it's not done on Sept 1st, I won't go in...I have made it clear to them.

I understand that you are apprehensive since you have not been offered the job yet?

I would seek advice from your unions as you should get/don't get the job first and then they can risk assess you. If they do it the other way round, that's discriminatory for sure, isn't it?

Kenn123 profile image
Kenn123 in reply to Poodle2

Yes. I put in a call to my union so I'm waiting to hear back. I was offered the job over the phone pending police vetting which I got. Medical assessment was last hurdle. I don't want to be discriminated against because of CLL.

Poodle2 profile image
Poodle2 in reply to Kenn123

I would be surprised to hear if the unions were fine with the fact the employer could turn you down because of your CLL. I even feel you don't have to disclose anything to your employer - that's in regards to your health ...but I might be wrong.

Newdawn profile image
NewdawnAdministrator in reply to Poodle2

This will help answer these questions;

Things that employers can ask about an employee’s medical condition:

* Employers can ask questions that help them to determine if they need to make reasonable adjustments. This might include an adapted working environment, or additional flexibility.

* Questions can be asked for monitoring purposes.

* An employer can ask about a medical condition if it’s thought that the condition might affect the employee’s ability to do their job. For example, the British Armed Forces cannot employ individuals that have had two or more seizures since the age of 6, or have a diagnosis of epilepsy.

‘The general position is that it is unlawful for an employer to ask any job applicant about their health or disability unless and until the applicant has been offered a job’.



Poodle2 profile image
Poodle2 in reply to Newdawn

Thanks Newdawn exactly what I thought, you are excellent at finding all the necessary links/rules/guidance. You would make a fantastic union rep🙂

Newdawn profile image
NewdawnAdministrator in reply to Poodle2

Thanks Poodle. My background encompassed this kind of work 😉


On BBC Radio 4 this morning Paul Novak, Dep Gen Sec of the TUC, was talking about workplace safety re Covid, basically accusing the government of complacency. However, he did not specifically mention the predicament of immunocompromised employees.

I would suggest that all union leaders need educating. Go to it!

The attitude of the BBC interviewer showed appalling ignorance. This is what we're up against.

BBC Sounds, station schedules, R4, Today 06:00-09:00. Start at 07:09.

I work in a busy community hospital. After shielding for a year I was allowed back after double vaccination and two weeks after. Shielding immediately puts you on a score of 7 (too high) regardless of anything else. However, providing the workplace is providing adequate protection measures you are allowed back. You should be fine.

Thanks. I'm really anxious to get back to work. Thanks for that bit of reassurance.

Hi Kenn123. I am a high school teacher/librarian, and I have worked the entire time. Our students and staff were required to wear masks, and I distanced myself as best as I could. I did receive the vaccine when it was available. I plan to return in August and begin my 32nd year in education. I doubt masks will be required this coming year, though. Lisa

It is always wise to invite the support of public interest entities who have wide insight and public interest attorneys that can advocate for you ! Do not go all alone !

Newdawn profile image

This link covers your rights. Remember that as someone with a cancer diagnosis, you have automatic eligibility for disabled status under the Equality Act 2010;


Kenn123 profile image
Kenn123 in reply to Newdawn

Thanks for that information.

Kenn123, I work also. Employed by a very large company and work in grocery. 40+ hours a week. The company knows I have CLL/SLL. They take a proactive approach to my health. Have provided me with intermittent leave capabilities and protected my job should I become ill.

I have not missed a day during Covid. I am fully vaccinated. I wore a mask when it was required but do not wear one now. The vaccine gave me antibodies. I have been tested.

I wish you the very best...hopefully your teaching position is offered.

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