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Ruth asked...

How do employers really view asthma?

I catch a cold, usually from a friend's child, about once every four months, which results in my asthma worsening and 2-3 days off work. How do employers really view asthma? I work long hours, meet my targets and am a good employee, at times exceptional. Regularly being off work because I can't breathe properly and have a common cold leave me feeling anxious that I am viewed as a lightweight even though I am respected and rewarded for my hardwork. For the previous two weeks I have had a cough and regularly needed to take my Ventolin during the working day. So this time off has really been coming. Would be grateful for your views.

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The answer

Asthma is a chronic condition that is unfortunately not curable. It can usually be well managed by using the correct medications/inhalers. Sometimes an infection (such as a cold) can make the asthma worse. An employer should understand that because asthma is a common condition.

Do everything you can to keep your asthma under good control by seeing your GP for regular check-ups and increasing your inhalers when you are ill. It would not be fair for an employer to punish you for time off work if you have a genuine flare up of a chronic condition (such as asthma).

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