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Employment and Diabetes

For most people, diabetes should not affect their ability to work. With current treatments, people with diabetes should be able to do most jobs as well as if they didn’t have diabetes.

Informing your Employer

You must declare your diabetes if asked about medical questions when applying for a job. If this is asked, state your type of diabetes and how it is controlled e.g. Type 2 diabetes, well controlled on insulin.

Discrimination

Diabetes is covered by the Disability Discrimination Act (1995). This protects you against being refused work or being dismissed solely on the basis of your diabetes although certain exceptions exist.

Restrictions

With diabetes treated by diet alone or tablets it is possible to do most jobs provided there are no serious complications.

With insulin treated diabetes, entry in to certain jobs is restricted. However, if diabetes develops whilst in a job, it is often possible to continue employment.

Entry to the following jobs is barred for people on insulin:
The Police, Fire, Ambulance and Prison services; the Armed Forces; the Merchant Navy; working offshore including catering on channel ferries or liners; driving jobs requiring a LGV or PSV licence; any Post Office job involving driving; taxi or cab driving; train driving; airline pilot, air traffic control, air cabin crew (certain airlines).

Shift work

If your diabetes is treated with insulin you may need to plan your injections to fit in with your job, especially of you do shift work. This can be made simpler if you have a flexible treatment regime and monitor your blood glucose levels regularly.

Seeking advice and what care to expect

Your Occupational Health Service, General Practice or Diabetes Specialist Team will advise you on employment and diabetes and on adjusting your medication to fit your working pattern. Always seek advice if you are running into problems with Diabetes and employment.