Diabetes in the Workplace

Provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

Preventing Type 2 diabetes and managing diabetes effectively is a smart business move for both you and your employees. 

Diabetes in the Workplace 

People with diabetes live with the disease all day, every day, including at work. Although people with diabetes may face unique challenges at the worksite, they can overcome these challenges and be successful with the help of an informed employer. 

You can maximize the health and productivity of your workers with diabetes by being more aware of common concerns in the workplace, such as accommodations for people with diabetes and shift work. 

Small adjustments to the work environment or schedule can reduce absenteeism and presenteeism; increase productivity, concentration, and energy levels; reduce the chance of on-the-job injury; and help you stay in compliance with the law. Go to the resources below for more information and guidance. 

Addressing Diabetes Is Good for Business 

Diabetes is costly. Helping your employees prevent type 2 diabetes and manage their diabetes not only can help them be healthier and more productive, it can lower health care costs for them and for your business. While each employee manages their own diabetes, smart employers know there’s a strong business case for helping employees with diabetes stay healthier. 

Indirect Costs almost $90 Billion including: 

  • Increased absenteeism $3.3 Billion 
  • Reduced productivity while at work for the employed population $26.9 Billion 
  • Inability to work because of disease-related disability $2.3 Billion 
  • Reduced productivity for those not in the labor force $37.5 Billion 
  • Lost productivity due to 277,000 premature deaths attributed to diabetes $19.9 Billion 
  • Direct costs $237 Billion including hospitalization, medical care, treatment and supplies, and other costs. 

Total Costs $327 Billion 

The resources below provide more detail. 

Help Employees with Diabetes or at Risk for Type 2 Diabetes 

The good news is you CAN do something to keep your employees healthier, maintain productivity, and control medical costs by reducing their risk for type 2 diabetes and diabetes-related complications. 

  • Learn more about two evidence-based interventions and recommend them to your employees: the National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) for people at risk for Type 2 diabetes and Diabetes Self-Management, Education, and Support (DSMES) services for people diagnosed with diabetes. 
  • Read about how employers can become involved in the National DPP. Use this toolkit that guides employers in covering the National DPP. 
  • Select benefits programs that cover enrollment in the two most effective prevention and treatment programs:  the National DPP for people at risk for type 2 diabetes, and DSMES services for people diagnosed with diabetes. 
  • Help employees find a CDC-recognized organization offering the National DPP lifestyle change program or DSMES services recognized by the American Diabetes Association or accredited by the Association of Diabetes Care and Education Specialists. 
  • Make it easier for employees to participate in DSMES or the National DPP lifestyle change program through flexible scheduling or by providing a space for health professionals to offer those services on site. 
  • Make adjustments on the job to help people with diabetes maintain healthy blood sugar levels, such as providing more frequent breaks or healthier choices in vending machines or in the cafeteria. 

Helpful Links 

Wellness benefits and programs, such as tobacco cessation, weight management, and stress management, can help keep all employees healthy and productive, not only those with diabetes.