More than one in three people living with diabetes say they experience a lack of understanding and support from work colleagues.
A survey from Diabetes UK, a healthcare professional and research charity, found that 37% of participants said they had experienced difficulty at work because of their condition, while 7% revealed that they had not told their employer of their condition.
‘Thousands of people across the UK have spoken out about how a lack of understanding from their employers can make working with diabetes not just exhausting and stressful, but also potentially life-threatening,’ said Helen Dickens, assistant director of campaigns and mobilisation at Diabetes UK.
A quarter of people said they would like more time off work for health appointments and regular breaks to test their blood sugar or take medication, which is important to managing the condition.
Diabetes affects more than 2.2 million people of working age in the UK and missing health appointments and medication can lead to severe complications: amputations; stroke; heart disease; kidney failure and even bring on premature death.
Researchers hope that the survey will help bring about the conversation of diabetes in the workplace, encourage employers to seek more information about the condition, and help to end the discrimination people living diabetes experience.
‘Discrimination and difficulties come about because employers lack knowledge about diabetes and do not understand its impact,’ continued Ms Dickens.
‘We need to talk more about the condition and the many ways it affects people’s lives in order to persuade places of work to offer greater understanding and flexibility. Everyone deserves to work in an environment where they can ask for the support they need.’