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Nurses with long-COVID should get compensation, MPs say

Classifying long-COVID as an occupational disease would support front-line staff and their families
Picture shows a young woman lying down and holding her hand to her head to ease discomfort

Classifying long-COVID as an occupational disease would support front-line staff and their families

Nurses and other healthcare workers with long-COVID who are unable to work should receive financial compensation, a group of MPs have said.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus has called on government for a second time to recognise long-COVID as an occupational disease defined as a chronic ailment caused by exposure to workplace hazards or work activities and to launch a compensation scheme for key workers.

MPs initially wrote to prime minister Boris Johnson on 22 January urging him to introduce a long-COVID compensation scheme, but did not receive a

Classifying long-COVID as an occupational disease would support front-line staff and their families

Picture shows a young woman lying down and holding her hand to her head, looking unwell
Picture: iStock

Nurses and other healthcare workers with long-COVID who are unable to work should receive financial compensation, a group of MPs have said.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus has called on government for a second time to recognise long-COVID as an occupational disease – defined as a chronic ailment caused by exposure to workplace hazards or work activities – and to launch a compensation scheme for key workers.

MPs initially wrote to prime minister Boris Johnson on 22 January urging him to introduce a long-COVID compensation scheme, but did not receive a reply.

What is long-COVID?

Long-COVID is a phenomenon where people who have had COVID-19 continue to experience persistent health problems for more than four weeks with symptoms that can include respiratory, heart, liver and kidney problems, fatigue, mental health issues and stomach upsets.

Now 65 MPs from seven parties including the Conservatives have written to Mr Johnson again saying that the government needs to act.

Their letter says: ‘Our front-line and key workers are the true heroes of the pandemic, and any further delay in launching this compensation scheme would be a dereliction of duty and would amount to abandoning the very people to whom we owe the most.’

Front-line staff invited to submit evidence to parliamentary committee

The committee is also inviting those affected, including front-line NHS staff, to submit evidence to help it formulate its recommendations.

Classifying long-COVID as an occupational disease would mean employees and their dependants would be entitled to protection and compensation, according to the MPs.

They say a long-COVID compensation scheme should mirror the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, which provides immediate and ongoing financial support for people who sustain injuries during their service.

Existing sick pay provisions can be used

The Department of Health and Social Care did not respond to MPs’ calls for a compensation scheme, instead stating that existing sick pay provisions should be used to support workers.

It said: ‘We are grateful for the hard work and dedication of our health and social care staff throughout the pandemic and it is important that staff are treated fairly, and employers make full use of the existing sick pay provisions on offer to support staff.’

Nursing Standard has launched a survey to find out more about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on your health and well-being at work. The anonymous survey is open to all UK nursing staff and takes just a few minutes to complete. To start the survey, click on the green box below.


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All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Coronavirus

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