Diabetes and Employment

It was once common practice to restrict individuals with diabetes from certain jobs or classes of employment solely because of the diagnosis of diabetes or the use of insulin, without regard to an individual’s abilities or circumstances. Employment decisions should not be based on generalizations or stereotypes regarding the effects of diabetes. The impact of diabetes and its management varies widely among individuals.
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Chronic complications that may result from long-term diabetes involve the blood vessels and nerves.  These complications may involve nerve (neuropathy), eye (retinopathy), kidney (nephropathy), and heart disease.  In turn, these problems can lead to amputation, blindness or other vision problems, including vision loss, kidney failure, stroke, or heart attack.  As these complications could potentially affect job performance and safety, such complications should be evaluated by a specialist.

When Diabetes Complicates Your Life: Controlling Diabetes and Related Complications

Most individuals with diabetes never experience an episode of severe hypoglycemia because either they are not on medication that causes it or they recognize the early warning signs and can quickly self-treat the problem by drinking or eating.  Also, with self-monitoring of blood glucose levels, most people with diabetes can manage their condition in such a manner that there is minimal risk of incapacitation from hypoglycemia because mildly low glucose levels can be easily detected and…

The Do's & Don'ts of Hypoglycemia:An Everyday Guide to Low Blood Sugar Too Often Misunderstood and Misdiagnosed!

Human rights legislation specifies that an employer must accommodate an individual with diabetes up to the point of “undue hardship”.  Reasonable accommodation of a person with diabetes may simply mean altering an employee’s work duties to include regular breaks so he or she can eat, monitor blood glucose or administer medication.

Diabetes and Employment ,

Individuals with diabetes may need certain changes or accommodations on the job in order to perform their work responsibilities effectively and safely.  Employment laws require the provision of “reasonable accommodations” to help an employee with diabetes to perform the essential functions of the job .  Although there are some typical accommodations that many people with diabetes use, the need for accommodations must be assessed on an individualized basis .

Diabetes and Employment ,

Employers may not inquire about an individual’s health status—directly or indirectly and regardless of the type of job—before making a job offer, but may require a medical examination once an offer of employment has been extended and before the individual begins the job.  A medical evaluation of an individual with diabetes may occur in two different situations .  The first is when the individual has been offered a job conditional on passing a medical examination.

Interprofessional Working in Health and Social Care: Professional Perspectives

Urine glucose results are no longer considered to be an appropriate and accurate methodology for assessing diabetes control.  Before the mid-1970s, urine glucose tests were the best available method of monitoring blood glucose levels.  However, the urine test is not a reliable or accurate indicator of blood glucose levels and is a poor measure of the individual’s current health status

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A single blood glucose test result only gives information about an individual’s blood glucose level at one particular point in time.  Because blood glucose levels fluctuate throughout the day (this is also true for people without diabetes), one test result is of no use in assessing the overall health of a person with diabetes.  The results of a series of self-monitored blood glucose measurements over a period of time, however, can give valuable information about an individual’s diabetes…

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