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A chronic or long-term health condition or illness is one for which there is no cure but which can usually be managed with medication and therapy, such as asthma, mental illness, arthritis, diabetes or heart disease. In the UK, the Equality Act 2010 states that some conditions, which adversely affect someone’s ability to carry out his or her normal day-to-day activities, are defined as disabilities, and as such place duties on the employer to make reasonable adjustments that allow that person to stay in work.
While they are not usually work related, chronic conditions often impact on the needs of the employee at work.
This topic describes chronic health conditions and the duties of employers when such conditions are reported to them. Related information is available in the Mental Health at Work, Disabled Workers, Wellbeing and Occupational Health topics.
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