My Diabetes Project – Working
It’s possible that having diabetes will impact your working life. Here’s a breakdown of what you’re entitled to and what your options are when it comes to diabetes and employment:
- Although you may not feel like you are disabled, diabetes is usually considered an unseen disability and you may therefore be protected against discrimination at work by your country’s legislation.
- While you are not necessarily required to tell your employer that you have diabetes, it is generally good to communicate with them openly. That way, if you need time off, have to leave to inject diabetes, or are late to work for a reason associated with your diabetes, it will be easier to explain if your employer already knew about your illness. It’s also important that someone at your workplace knows in case you have a hypoglycemic episode and need assistance.
- Some reasonable adjustments that could be made at your workplace include: flexibility over working hours so that you are able to eat food and test at the proper times; modified equipment, especially if you have retinal damage due to diabetes; and providing a private place to inject. You may even need to change positions or be reassigned different duties, so work with your employer to find out what works best for you.
- You should be allowed to take off time from work when necessary, but that time off does not necessarily have to be paid—consult your country’s legislation to figure out your options.
- If your diabetes has left you unable to work, check to see if you are entitled to any disability allowances to support yourself and/or your family.