Managing cancer in the workplace

There are currently more than 700,000 people of working age living with a cancer diagnosis and many more people in work who have some connection to cancer via their family and circle of friends.

57% of people diagnosed with cancer have to give up work or education, change role or change hours as a direct result of their diagnosis while 37% who return to work after cancer treatment say they experience some kind of discrimination form their employer or colleagues.

Cancer is legally defined as a disability under the Equality Act 2010 which means that employers must make reasonable adjustments to employee’s working arrangements if necessary and must not treat them less favourably for any reason relating to their cancer. Even if a person has been successfully treated for cancer and is now in remission, they will still be classed as disabled and have the protection of this act.

By making reasonable adjustments, you can retain employees and allow them to perform to their potential. Simple actions such as the ones below can make a big difference to your staff and your business:

  • Allowing time off for medical appointments.
  • Making reasonable adjustments such as offering flexible working or altering duties.
  • Organising a phased return to work.

You also need to consider employees who have had a close family member diagnosed with cancer and the problems and emotions they will encounter.

If you have 10 or more employees ask us about Chafes Hague Lambert Employ, employment law support and guidance designed to keep businesses on the right track.

For advice on how to manage cancer in the workplace or to avoid discrimination issues contact Caroline Calverley or Alison Close on 01625 531676.

Read our next news story:

No second bite of the cherry