Is Occupational Asthma a Disability?

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Severe asthma is classed as a disability, as it can directly affect your working and day-to-day life. So if you’ve been diagnosed with occupational asthma, as a result of negligence by a past or current employer, then the company you work for must take steps to manage your condition.

Under the Equality Act, employers are required to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate members of staff with disabilities. So you need to talk to your employer about what measures could be taken to help you at work, for example, being permitted time off for medical appointments and avoiding certain triggers to your asthma, such as dust.

Our Industrial Disease Solicitors are specialists in helping people obtain compensation and rehabilitation support for workplace injuries and illnesses, so if you’ve developed occupational asthma due to employer negligence, get in touch for free legal advice and a no obligation assessment of your claim. We may be able to act for you on a No Win, No Fee basis – ask us for details.

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What Can I Claim Compensation For?

If you’ve developed work related asthma due to the negligence of your current or a previous employer, you may be able to claim occupational asthma compensation. Your compensation settlement should reflect the pain and suffering you’ve gone through and how the condition has affected your quality of life.

Your compensation package will also take into account any financial losses you’ve experienced, such as any past and future loss of earnings, the cost of medical treatment, rehabilitation and the cost of retraining if you’re unable to continue working in your current role or career.

In the most severe asthma cases, you may be unable to climb stairs without getting badly out of breath, and need home adaptations to help you live as independently as possible, and maybe even at-home care and assistance. Our Industrial Disease Solicitors can assess your individual circumstances to calculate an appropriate amount of compensation and present your claim to the party you hold responsible.

How Occupational Asthma Can Affect Your Working Life

Occupational asthma can have many consequences and affect you on a day-to-day basis at work. For instance:

  • You may need to regularly have time off work to attend medical appointments
  • Worries that your colleagues don’t believe you have a true disability and feeling self-conscious about having time off or using an inhaler in work
  • Worries about being discriminated against in work and being overlooked for promotion opportunities because of your condition

However, the Equality Act states that your employer is legally required to make reasonable adjustments if you have a disability, such as occupational asthma. These can include:

  • Letting you have time off to undergo medical treatment or assessments
  • Making physical adjustments to your working environment
  • Allowing a phased return to work following a period of ill health
  • Changing your duties to prevent your exposure to asthma triggers, or giving you the option of moving into a different role within the same company.

For an employer to make the right changes in the workplace, it’s important to be open about the effects of your severe asthma. If you get the right support from your employer, you’ll be in a better position to perform at the best of your abilities, which in turn benefits the company you work for.

It’s worth noting that if you feel your employer isn’t making suitable changes to accommodate your condition, they may be in breach of the Equality Act.

The law in England and Wales also states that your condition can’t be used as a reason for them to overlook you for promotion or terminate your employment. So if you are dismissed because of your occupational asthma, you may be able to make an unfair dismissal claim, or you could make a claim for constructive dismissal if your working environment becomes intolerable. Our Employment Law Solicitors can advise you on this and your legal rights at work.

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