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TUC releases guidelines to support colleagues with cancer

October 1 2015

The TUC has released guidelines for employers, union representatives, employees and line managers for how to support colleagues with cancer at work.

The TUC advice, released on Thursday 1 October, was put together with Macmillan Cancer Support, and includes sections on confidentiality and wider support.

The advice recommends employers are flexible and make reasonable adjustments for their employees, as those with cancer are classed as being disabled under the Equality Act 2010. It also suggests that union reps keep in touch with colleagues while they are off work to ensure they still feel like a valued part of the team.

Other guidelines include having a policy in place for when colleagues wish to return to work, and that advice from a GP or medical specialist is followed.

TUC General Secretary, Frances O’Grady, said: “Everyone dreads a cancer diagnosis. It now affects one in three people, and each year in the UK there are approximately 90,000 people of working age who find out that they have cancer. The chances are that one of your colleagues or someone in your business will be affected – either directly through being ill themselves or through a close relative having the disease.

“People with cancer can experience considerable prejudice from both managers and colleagues and may hide aspects of their illness from bosses.”

The guidelines prepared by the TUC and Macmillan Cancer Support can be found on the TUC unionlearn website.

On Friday 25 September, UnionLine took part in Macmillan’s ‘World’s Biggest Coffee Morning’ and raised £329 for the charity through the coffee morning, a bake off, dress down day and raffle.