05 April 2023
Our Covid-19 guidance provides information on the symptoms of Covid-19, what you should do if you have it and the support you should expect from your employer if you have Long Covid.
In this section you can find out more about Covid-19, the symptoms, the support you should expect from your employer and more about Long Covid.
Covid-19 is an infectious disease caused by a coronavirus illness first discovered at the end of 2019. There have been several variants of Covid-19, and guidance has changed throughout. We're now being asked to live with the virus, and there are few restrictions in place around the world. Research continues to understand Covid-19 and its lasting effects.
The virus can spread fast, and some people may not have any symptoms of it and spread it without knowledge. It's spread through the air, from coughs and sneezes but also from small particles that can be exhaled as we breathe.
Even if you've had several vaccinations, it's possible to catch Covid-19. We're now expected to live with Covid-19 and there are no specific measures in place in general day-to-day life.
However, there are still important steps we should take to keep ourselves and others well - and this applies to general colds and other bugs as well as Covid-19:
What are the symptoms?
Covid-19 can cause a wide range of symptoms; however, these are the three main symptoms recognised by the NHS:
Approximately 1 in 3 people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and could be spreading it without realising it.
Additional symptoms that people may experience are:
The symptoms are very similar to symptoms of other illnesses, such as colds and flu.
Get help at:
Call 111 if you cannot get help online.
What to do if you have symptoms
There are no specific requirements now that Covid is being managed in the same way as other illnesses, but the Government has provided some general guidance.
You may be able to look after yourself at home if you have COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19, so try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people if you or your child have symptoms and either:
You can go back to your normal activities when you feel better or do not have a high temperature.
If your child has mild symptoms such as a runny nose, sore throat or mild cough, and they feel well enough, they can go to school or childcare.
What to do if you have tested positive
You are no longer required to take a Covid-19 rapid lateral flow test if you have symptoms.
But if you or your child have tested positive for COVID-19:
About Long Covid
While lots of people will recover from Covid-19 quickly and without long-term effects, Long Covid - also known as post-Covid syndrome - can continue to affect people's physical and mental health long after. Around 10% of people will have some symptoms lasting beyond three weeks, and some people remain affected beyond 12 weeks.
Some of the main symptoms of long Covid include:
But there are many more, and they can fluctuate from day to day. A recent TUC study looking at the experience of workers with long Covid shows the variety of symptoms experienced:
There is no set recovery period, and everyone's recovery will be different. Some people will continue to experience symptoms for weeks and months, which is why it's important that employers are supportive while someone goes through treatment.
The NHS has set up a Covid recovery site which can help you find support from medical professionals as well as some self-help recovery tips.
We've got a list of Long Covid support information later in this guidance, including the support you should expect from your employer to support you returning or remaining at work.Your Covid Recovery
Here are some links to further reading providing general information on Covid-19.
Keeping you healthy and safe at work is a top priority and never more important as we navigate our way through the Covid-19 pandemic.
Most Covid-19 activities have wound down as we're learning to live with the virus. But we continue to monitor the situation and talk with the main employers we work with about all aspects of health & safety on a regular basis.
If there are aspects of your workplace environment that concern you, or if you're worried for your safety, please call our helpline on 0118 934 1808. We have a team of officers ready, willing, and able to advise and support you.
Getting support from Accord
We're able to help you navigate your employers' policies in relation to sickness, absence, and ill-health. We'll keep members up to date through our regular communications, so if anything changes in future about Covid support we'll let you know.
Support & contacts
Don't forget that there are sources of support available to you, whether you need help with Covid, Long Covid or anything else:
Has Covid affected you or your family? Reach out for support, or just to talk things through:
And remember, if you’re an Accord member and need a chat about support at work, call the helpline on 0118 934 1808.
Find more mental health related articles on our website.
Long Covid support
Everyone's Covid recovery is different, but it is important to seek the right support to help your recovery journey. The good news is that there's now a wealth of support available to help you get back to your usual activities.
We expect employers to support colleagues with their recovery from Covid, and that includes making reasonable adjustments to support you returning or remaining at work. Here are some of the things your employer should be able to do for you:
The TUC has produced an interactive guide for union reps to help support members - particularly those who have had long COVID and are unsure about their rights or are facing issues with their employer.
While isolation may be over as we've learned to live with Covid-19, for those experiencing abuse the prospect of continued home working can be frightening. The employers we work with recognise this and if you're working from home but experiencing abuse, we'd recommend talking to your employer about returning to an office environment or getting help to access support services.
There are many sources of support available to you:
Other sources of support