“I have back-to-back clients, for hours on end. There’s no time to stop really. Sometimes I get carried away and just forget to take my insulin.” (Anonymous)
With well-managed diabetes, you should be able to do most jobs without too many problems. However, there will be times when work commitments could disrupt your routine. This is why it’s important for your employer to know about your diabetes. If you keep disappearing and they don’t know why, they may get very suspicious and annoyed. If they know it is for a health reason, they are likely to be more understanding.
Keep a little hypo kit on you all the time, so it’s there if you need it (and remember to restock it afterwards).
Telling your employer
Just like your teachers at school need to know you have diabetes, it is advisable to inform your employer about your diabetes, though this is not compulsory. If you don’t, you may not be eligible for workers’ compensation. If aware of your diabetes, your employer can make allowances for any extra breaks or changes in shifts you might need. Most employers will be understanding and try to help you as much as possible.
Your employer cannot discriminate against you because of your diabetes. Diabetes falls under the category of disability within the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Federal regulations say it is against the law to discriminate against people, or treat them unfairly, in various areas of public life. One of these areas is employment.
Find out more about equal employment opportunity and anti-discrimination in your state or territory.
You can also contact the Advocacy Officer at your local diabetes organisation for advice.
Telling your supervisor and workmates
“I would love a little information card you could just hand out to people, so you didn’t have to explain yourself over and over.” (Anonymous)
You don’t have to tell all your colleagues about your diabetes, but you should tell your supervisor and a couple of other workmates, so they know what to look for if you have a hypo.