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Recorder letters: Diabetics rights, unfair treatment of migrants, Brexit and community businesses

PUBLISHED: 12:00 29 April 2018

Embargoed to 0001 Tuesday January 5 File photo dated 03/10/14 of a nurse giving a patient a diabetes test, as new figures show that the number of people with diabetes in the UK has topped four million for the first time.

Embargoed to 0001 Tuesday January 5 File photo dated 03/10/14 of a nurse giving a patient a diabetes test, as new figures show that the number of people with diabetes in the UK has topped four million for the first time.

PA/Press Association Images

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.

Diabetics and your rights at work

Roz Rosenblatt, head of London, Diabetes UK, writes:

Research from Diabetes UK has found that one in six (16 per cent) people with diabetes who work feel that they’ve been discriminated against by their employer because of their condition.

A lack of understanding from employers can make working with diabetes not just exhausting and stressful, but also potentially life-threatening. Managing diabetes can involve taking medication - including injecting insulin at the right times and also testing blood glucose levels multiple times a day.

More than one third (37pc) of respondents to a survey said that living with diabetes had caused them difficulty at work, while 7pc had not told their employer that they have the condition. A quarter (25pc) said that they would like time off work for diabetes-related appointments and flexibility to take regular breaks for testing their blood sugar or to take medication.

Diabetes is one of the largest health crises of our time affecting more than 2.2 million people of working age. Missing essential health checks or not taking medication on time can lead to devastating complications, such as amputations, stroke, heart disease, kidney failure and even early death.

To find out more about your rights at work if you have diabetes or for information about supporting people with diabetes in the workplace if you are an employer visit diabetes.org.uk/work

Migrants always treated unfairly

Jean Lambert, London’s Green MEP, writes:

The Windrush scandal is disgraceful, but it’s hardly a surprise.

We know that the government has been deliberately making life difficult for migrants for years. The current system is cruel and inhumane – it has led to poverty, homelessness and even death – and it’s about to be significantly expanded.

After Brexit, some 3.7 million EU nationals living in the UK also look set to be exposed to Theresa May’s “hostile environment”. It won’t be EU nationals’ first taste of life in a “hostile” state.

Having been used as bargaining chips in negotiations and left in the dark about their rights and freedoms, EU nationals in the UK already know what it feels like to be treated as second-class citizens in the country they call home. After March 29 next year, this is only going to get worse. In the European Parliament, we’re well aware of the risks. This week Guy Verhofstadt called for “full guarantees” that EU nationals in the UK will not face a “bureaucratic nightmare” after Brexit. Other MEPs, including me, are also watching closely.

The government must remember that we have a say on the final Brexit agreement, and we will not hesitate to vote against any deal that threatens to significantly reduce citizens’ rights.

Appetite for Brexit debate and facts

Syed Kamall, MEP for London,writes:

Londoners and people generally continue to show a strong appetite for information about the Brexit negotiations.

As the most senior elected British politician in Brussels, who is in contact with both UK and EU negotiators, I have shared my insight with constituents and answered their questions by running two Facebook Live sessions.

I was so struck by the range, intelligence of the questions and genuine desire for updates that I will be running a third one.

Londoners and people from further afield are invited to join in next Wednesday 25, at 7pm UK time, here: facebook.com/SyedKamallMEP/

Readers can find more details at syedkamall.co.uk/live2018

Back community business weekend

Nancy Platts, London representative, Community Business Weekend 2018, writes:

Every day, tens of thousands of people go to work at one of the 7,000 community businesses in England

Hundreds of thousands of us shop, visit or benefit from them directly, yet they are still relatively unknown. Amongst them are community shops, with an impressive survival rate of over 95 per cent compared to around 50pc for small businesses generally. In some communities, they can be the single biggest employer in the area.

That’s why Power to Change, the independent trust supporting community businesses in England, is once again organising Community Business Weekend (May 4-7, 2018, #CBwkd18) to shine a light on these community-powered gems that not only bring much needed services and spaces to a community but boost local economies and reinvest the profits for the benefit of local people. Pubs, libraries, housing, shops, farms, transport, and renewable energy are just some examples operating across London. Visit communitybusinessweekend.org

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