During the pandemic, the government has defined some people as clinically extremely vulnerable (previously described as shielded).

These workers are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus. Since August, clinically extremely vulnerable workers can return to their workplace as long as it is COVID-secure but should carry on working from home wherever possible.

You may be able to speak to your employer in order to change to an alternative role or change your working patterns temporarily.

The pandemic may mean that you now require more reasonable adjustments in order to work. More information about this can be found through the Access to Work Scheme.

Access to Work will provide support for the disability-related extra costs of working that are beyond standard reasonable adjustments an employer must provide.

If you are having specific concerns with your employer and would like to speak to someone about your employment rights please contact ACAS.

Statutory Sick Pay

As of 1 August, you are no longer eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) on the basis of being advised to shield by the government. Your employer should help you to transition back to work safely and support you to maintain good hand hygiene and distancing practice in your workplace if you are unable to work from home.

Please contact MDUK who can advise on benefits available for those who can’t work.

I have a muscle-wasting condition but my employer does not recognise that I am extremely vulnerable, and need to work from home. What should I do?

The clinical expert group we’re working with agrees that people with any diagnosed or undiagnosed neuromuscular condition (in other words non-specified conditions) should consider themselves as being at high risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus and they should provide their employers with their shielding letter, so arrangements can be made for you to work from home wherever possible.

As part of our MDUK Muscles Matter 2020 online seminar series is exploring accessing the workplace, your rights at work, how employers can make things more accessible, and our support available. This will be available to view on our YouTube channel in due course.

For more information and support please contact our helpline.

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