Supporting Employees Affected by Cancer

Every year, almost 120,000 people of working age are diagnosed with cancer in the UK – a figure set to rise with survival rates improving and people retiring later.

Consequently cancer has become a long-term condition, and therefore is rapidly becoming a more regular area for HR and line managers to manage in the workplace.

Cancer and its treatments affect people in a variety of ways: common side effects include fatigue, pain, and depression. Nonetheless, for employees with cancer or those caring for someone with cancer, staying in or returning to work can be hugely positive.

However, it can be difficult to know how to support someone with cancer in the workplace, as there are a number of challenges they may face. Employers can tackle some of these challenges by putting in place reasonable adjustments.

As cancer is classed as a disability under the Equality Act or Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), where reasonable, employers should make changes to help the employee with cancer do their job during and after treatment, and aid them in overcoming the disadvantage they face as a consequence of their disability (cancer).

These changes are known as ‘reasonable adjustments’, and could be anything from allowing time off to go to medical appointments to working flexible hours.

Often these small changes can make a big difference, and can help support your employee to continue to work if they choose to do so.

Training or consultancy can help organisations prepare their staff to manage the impact of long term conditions.

Macmillan at Work is designed to help workplaces support employees with a cancer diagnosis, or those caring for someone with cancer.

To find out more, click the link below.

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