More than one-fifth of male employees don’t think a peanut allergy is a serious condition
Research shows more than one-fifth of male employees in Britain do not consider a peanut allergy to be a serious health condition.
The data, analysed by The ID Band Company, also revealed more than a quarter of Generation Z (18-24-year-olds) consider peanut allergies not to be serious. The research shows younger employees are more likely to see mental health conditions as “very serious” and more serious than conditions such as peanut allergies, asthma, and diabetes.
The survey data, from YouGov, also shows 91% of female employees view peanut allergies as a serious health condition.
Mark Davison, Managing Director at The ID Band company said, “The research has identified an unexpected insight regarding the perception of different demographics in the workplace towards peanut allergies.
“Creating an environment in the workplace where employees can do their job safely is part of an employer’s Duty of Care under the Health and Safety Work Act 1974, so we are urging employers to ensure their employees are trained in the potential dangers of a peanut allergy.”
Allergic conditions, especially those that are severe, or life-threatening, may qualify employees for protection under the Equality Act 2010, as their allergy could be classed as a disability.
Mark emphasised, “Employers must protect their workers by removing or reducing risks, such as allergens, in the workplace. We are urging employers to consider implementing training and additional measures to protect their employees with severe peanut or other allergies.”
To facilitate a shift in workplace culture and better support employees with allergies, The ID Band Company provides key recommendations for employers:
1. Implementing adjustments to the workplace
Employers can actively support their employees by identifying and implementing adjustments to the workplace if the allergy is classified as a disability. Potential adjustments may include relocating workstations, allowing remote work, exploring alternative roles, providing specific equipment, and establishing policies to prevent contamination or allergy triggers.
“We would encourage employers to provide medical ID bracelets for employees with a severe allergy so that, in the event of an emergency, first aid responders are aware of the allergy and its treatment,” Mark explains. “This initiative also supports fostering a workplace culture that normalises awareness and understanding of severe allergies.”
2. Conducting a comprehensive risk assessment
To foster a workplace that accommodates employees with allergies, employers should conduct a thorough workplace risk assessment and develop an allergy management plan. This proactive approach will aid in identifying potential allergens and ensure a clean, well-ventilated and properly equipped environment. Anaphylaxis UK offers a free workplace risk assessment template for businesses looking for a place to start,
3. Prevent discrimination and misunderstanding
Given the research highlighting misconceptions about the severity of peanut allergies, employers are encouraged to take steps to ensure employees with allergies are not treated less favourably. This involves ensuring a clean and tidy workspace with regular cleaning, adequate heating, and ventilation, and maintaining air-conditioning and extractor systems. By ensuring they have a comfortable and allergen-controlled environment, employees will be better supported in their day-to-day roles.
Mark adds, “We believe that fostering a workplace environment that prioritises understanding and accommodation for individuals with severe allergies is not only a legal responsibility but also a testament to a compassionate and inclusive corporate culture. Together, we can strive to create workplaces where every employee feels safe, valued, and supported in their unique health needs.”