Returning to work with persisting coronavirus (Covid-19) symptoms

Some members of the public continue to experience persisting coronavirus (Covid-19) symptoms following a positive test.

It is important that you speak to your GP for support if your symptoms are not improving or seem unmanageable. As with any other illness or injury, you may require a period of sickness absence to allow for further recovery.

A therapist will be able to:

  • Support you in being able to manage your symptoms.
  • Support you to maximise your functional ability through either group work or one-to-one sessions.
  • Assess your tolerance to movement and activity.
  • Support you to manage the demands of your job.
  • Offer support face-to-face, via telephone, or video call.
  • Make recommendations on appropriate adjusted duties at work, and a phased return.
  • Provide communication between you and your manager through written correspondence or planned visits to your workplace.

Contact us

If you would like to ask about how you can better manage your symptoms, please contact either Jasmine Yule or Sarah Holt at We can help you to identify the most appropriate source of support.

People who are not under the care of Occupational Therapy at Group Rehabilitation are welcome to make use of the resources.

Symptom management during sickness absence

This video provides basic guidance on how to manage symptoms during sickness absence. It will give suggestions on pacing strategies, resources, and gaining consistency in day-today tasks.


What to do during sickness absence

For some people, this might be their first period of sickness absence which extends beyond the self-certified period of 7 days. This information sheet provides guidance on fit notes, relevant employment benefits, and welfare services in Derby.

Download what to do during sickness absence [pdf] 616KB

Fatigue Education Course

The Fatigue Education Course comprises of six short sessions aimed at supporting people who are experiencing fatigue >. Each session is 5-15 mins in length. You can work at your own pace and pause each session as required.

Activity diary information sheet and template pages

Completing an activity diary can be a helpful way to gain control of symptoms. This information sheet provides guidance on how to get started, along with some template sheets to complete. It also includes some examples and tips on how to make the most out of the information you gather. If you are under the care of an occupational therapist, it might be helpful to share the results of your activity diary during one to one reviews.


Understanding energy impairment

Fatigue can be a difficult thing to explain and understand. This information sheet includes helpful illustrations from the organisation ‘Chronic Illness Inclusion’. It will be a useful communication tool when explaining these challenging concepts to an employer, colleague or relative.

Download understanding energy impairment [pdf] 541KB


Work rehabilitation from home

Even if it is a little too early to consider work-related rehabilitation, this information sheet provides guidance on how you can manage ‘illness work’ in a structured way. Illness work might include appointments, watching videos on symptom management, or meeting with a support group.

Download work rehabilitation from home [pdf] 723 KB

Return to work rehabilitation

In this video, we explore ways in which you can rehabilitate yourself in a work-focussed way, allowing you to assess your own limits and discover ways to manage your symptoms.

If your symptoms are limiting your ability to complete day-to-day tasks, this will be an important step in the return to work process, as it will help your manager to plan a safe and sustainable return to work.



Tracking work ability

Understanding the demands of your job role will ensure that your rehabilitation is preparing you for work specific tasks. This information sheet provides a list of demands which are likely to be relevant to your own role. Use these as a starting point and use the template sheets to track progress over time. Your occupational therapist can support you throughout this process and help you to make sense of the information you gather.


Work rehabilitation from home

Work rehabilitation can take place at home, and is an important step in returning to work, even if your job is not physically demanding. The information sheet attached provides ideas on how you can use everyday activities to rehabilitate towards desk-based work.

Download work rehabilitation from home [pdf] 723KB


Rehabilitation principles

Once you have established a comfortable baseline level of activity, you can begin to use your activity diary as an activity plan. This information sheet provides guidance on how to rehabilitate safely and what to expect. Talk to your occupational therapist about how to make the most of your activity plan and for help analysing the information you gather.

Download rehabilitation principles [pdf] 797KB

Return to work communication

Providing a phased return for someone with persisting symptoms of Covid-19 can be challenging for managers.

Often it needs to extend beyond a traditional two to four week time frame, and light duties need to be mindfully considered in relation to your symptoms and functional ability. This video provides guidance on how your manager can support you both during sickness absence, in planning your return-to-work, and monitoring you once you return to the workplace.



Manager review crib sheet

As you progress through your phased return, it is recommended that you keep in regular contact with your manager. Setting aside time to review how things are progressing can be a great way of keeping on track and ensuring that you remain as well as possible in, and out, of the workplace. It can help to consider the points in this crib sheet before you meet with your manager. 

Download manager review crib sheet [docx] 109KB

Managing symptoms in the workplace

You will continue to learn more about symptom management when you return to the workplace. This video provides guidance on how to monitor your symptoms and respond appropriately through reasonable adjustments.



Energy conservation in the workplace

Finding the most efficient way to work will allow you to conserve energy. If you are experiencing fatigue, this will be particularly important as you look to gradually increase your hours. This information sheet makes some suggestions on how you can conserve energy through task adaptation. Speak to your manager and occupational therapist for extra ideas and support.

Download energy conservation in the workplace [pdf] 618KB