Mayor Jamie Driscoll has backed a charter to help workers facing terminal illness.
The North of Tyne Combined Authority is the latest employer to sign up to the Dying to Work Voluntary Charter, following in the footsteps of employers such as Hovis, Unison, Royal Mail, the Co-op, and Rolls Royce. The Charter is part of the TUC’s wider Dying to Work campaign which is seeking greater security for terminally ill workers where they cannot be dismissed as a result of their condition.
The Mayor, elected in May to lead the new devolved Combined Authority, said all good employers should sign up.
“Being diagnosed with a terminal illness is about the worst thing that can happen to many people,” he said. “It can upset everything in your life, and yet a lot of people are still in work when this happens. We’re calling for the law to be changed so that if someone is diagnosed they get protected status in their employment. And we think all good employers can do this anyway, which is why we’re signing up to it as the North of Tyne Combined Authority. “It means if somebody is diagnosed with something like cancer they can continue to work and manage their job around their ill health and are not managed out or somehow not taken seriously just because they are ill.”
Dying to Work was taken forward by the TUC following the case of Derbyshire area sales manager Jacci Woodcook, who was forced out of her job after being diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. The TUC is asking employers to sign up to its voluntary charter to stop cases like Jacci’s happening in the future.
TUC Northern Region, Regional Secretary Beth Farhat said: “Your job should be the least of your worries when you get a terminal diagnosis. I’m delighted the North of Tyne Combined Authority has shown real leadership in this area, working with unions to guarantee fair treatment for terminally-ill workers. We now have a million workers being covered by the Dying to Work charter across the country, and we expect more employers to commit in the coming months.”
A list of Charter signatories can be found here: https://www.dyingtowork.co.uk/whos-signed/
The TUC Dying to Work Voluntary Charter states:
- We recognise that terminal illness requires support and understanding and not additional and avoidable stress and worry.
- Terminally ill workers will be secure in the knowledge that we will support them following their diagnosis and we recognise that safe and reasonable work can help maintain dignity, offer a valuable distraction and can be therapeutic in itself.
- We will provide our employees with the security of work, peace of mind and the right to choose the best course of action for themselves and their families which helps them through this challenging period with dignity and without undue financial loss.
- We support the TUC’s Dying to Work campaign so that all employees battling terminal illness have adequate employment protection and have their death in service benefits protected for the loved ones they leave behind.
More information about the Dying to Work campaign can be found at www.dyingtowork.co.uk