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How to accommodate diabetic employees in the workplace

In most cases, diabetes does not affect an employee's ability to perform their job, and employers may not even know that employee has diabetes. Depending on the individual, diabetes can have varying effects.


Generally, an employee's diabetes will not put themselves or others at risk at work, such as in offices and retail spaces.


However, despite being uncommon, disorientation and fainting episodes can occur as a result of hypoglycemia. If an employee becomes suddenly disoriented while operating heavy machinery, for example, the risk of injury increases.


Unless it causes undue hardship to the organization, employers must accommodate employees with diabetes. Concerns about diabetes should be addressed respectfully by employers and employees. Accommodations could include time or a private area for administering medicines, performing blood sugar tests, keeping food nearby, or taking regular breaks to maintain a prescribed diet. Another example would be taking time off to attend medical appointments.


How to accommodate diabetic employees in the workplace:

  • Provide time or a private area for administering medicines

  • Perform blood sugar tests

  • Ensure that food is always nearby and stocked

  • Allow regular breaks to be taken to maintain a prescribed diet

  • Allowing diabetic employees to take time off to attend medical appointments

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