Diabetes in the Workplace

It is important to show that having diabetes does not make a difference to your ability to work. You need to have stable diabetes control and be able to adjust your diabetes treatment around your working day if necessary. Everyone should have an equal opportunity to apply for employment and individuals should be treated on their own merits.

If you are on diet alone or diet and tablets, most jobs are possible providing you do not have complications of diabetes.

The situation is different if you are treated with insulin. Entry to the following jobs is barred for people on insulin. However, in some cases, if diabetes develops while in the job it is sometimes possible to continue employment.

• Police Service
• Ambulance Service
• Fire Service
• Armed Forces
• Merchant Navy
• Prison Service
• Airline Pilot, Cabin Crew (some airlines) & Air Traffic Control
• Train Driving
• Driving large goods vehicles
• Driving vehicles carrying the general public (buses)
• Some local authorities have a ban on cab or taxi licenses
• Working Offshore e.g. on oil rigs, channel ferries or liners
• Working at a coal face

You may need to plan your insulin injections to fit in with your job, especially if you work shifts. This is much easier if you are on a flexible injection regime and do regular blood tests. Your Diabetes team can help you to plan this.

What to tell your Employer

• On the application form there may be a health question. State your type of diabetes e.g. Type 1 or Type 2
• At interview, discuss your diabetes only in relation to the work you will be doing.
• Emphasize the positive aspects of diabetes. Looking after diabetes well requires a responsible attitude and an awareness of time. Both of which are useful attributes at work!
• If you do not mention your diabetes and it is discovered later, it may reflect on your honesty as an employee.
• Tell your colleagues about your diabetes. This makes it easier for them to help you if necessary, e.g. if you have a hypo.
• Try to arrange your clinic appointments to fit around your job. The Diabetes team should be able to help with this.
• For more information on Diabetes and Sick days, call Dasman Diabetes Resource Hub Team (DDRH) on 2226 0001 and ask our HealthCare Advisors.