Do you support staff with cancer?

Many cancer patients are either not receiving the support they need to return to work, feel forced to hide their symptoms or are being pressured into returning to work before they are ready, according to Macmillan Cancer Support in a recent survey of workers with cancer diagnoses.  Apparently, one in 10 staff felt pressured into returning to work before they were ready.

Of the 1,500 workers surveyed by the charity, more than a quarter received no support to help them back to work after their diagnosis, and of those who did return to work, 23% did not feel well enough to be there. 

The survey found that the vast majority felt it was important to continue working after their diagnosis, but one in 10 reported feeling the need to cover up their symptoms, like fatigue and sickness, at work.

Employers have a vital role to play in helping employees remain in or return to work after their diagnosis and need to understand their legal obligations to employees with cancer under the Equality Act, that they consider what reasonable adjustments their employees may need to stay in work, and that they have appropriate policies and processes in place.

Macmillan estimates someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer every two minutes, with around 2.5 million people in the UK currently experiencing the disease. Many will have to hold down a job while they undergo treatment. 

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