Help for employers dealing with cancer at work

There are 700,000 people of working age living with cancer in the UK and half a million carers juggling a job with looking after someone with cancer. This means that even the smallest business is likely to be affected by cancer in some way.

Macmillan Cancer Support, the UK charity focused on improving the lives of people affected by cancer, has launched a new work and cancer online tool that provides expert answers to employers’ questions regarding cancer in the workplace, including issues such as:

  • keeping the organisation going when a member of the team is diagnosed with cancer;
  • employers’ legal obligations;
  • helping a close-knit team with bereavement.

A blog (‘Cancer and work’) that appeared on the Health for Work Adviceline website at the beginning of 2012 considered the impact of cancer on a workplace, including some analysis of employers’ legislative responsibilities:

“Importantly for employers, cancer is now covered as a disability under the remit of the Equality Act 2010 either because the illness itself may limit a person’s day-to-day activities, or because possible effects of the illness (such as depression, which may occur as a result of the diagnosis) can be classed as a disability. Because of this, employers must offer appropriate support to employees suffering from cancer in order to fulfill their legislative duties.”

Because of the importance of looking after the health of employees, not only to adhere to legislative requirements but also to ensure that workers remain productive, the Health for Work Adviceline (0800 0 77 88 44) offers free, professional advice and guidance to employers/managers on all employee health matters. And for cancer-specific advice for employers, why not contact Macmillan Cancer Support?


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