On Monday 18th April I attended a cross-party event in Parliament to support the TUC’s ‘Dying to Work’ campaign which is seeking to change the law to provide additional employment protection for terminally ill workers.
“People battling a terminal illness deserve choice and shouldn’t be forced to undergo stressful HR procedures with the risk of losing the positive stimulation and distraction of work. It is shocking to think that if people with terminal illnesses are dismissed or forced out of their jobs that their loved ones will lose the death in service payments that the employee has planned for and earned through a life-time of hard work. I am proud to back the TUC’s Dying to Work campaign and I am encouraging businesses in my constituency to sign up to the TUC’s voluntary charter to help ensure that the current law is changed.”
Dying to Work was set up following the case of Jacci Woodcook, a 58-year-old sales manager from Derbyshire, who was forced out of her job after being diagnosed with terminal breast cancer.
In addition to support from across the political spectrum, the campaign has also been endorsed by a number of trade unions and charities, including Breast Cancer Care and Second Hope.
Furthermore, the company, E.On have today (Monday 18th April) become the first company to sign the Dying to Work voluntary charter to provide support to their employees and the campaign in a ceremony in College Green..
TUC Deputy General Secretary Paul Nowak said: “Worrying about your job should be the least of your concerns when you receive a terminal diagnosis.
“It’s fantastic to have this event in Parliament as a chance for MPs from all parties to show their support and get involved in this campaign to make terminal illness a protected characteristic.”
“Hopefully now more employers will now follow E.ON’s lead by signing the Dying to Work Charter and we will see further action in Parliament to deliver this vital employment protection for terminally ill workers.”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
– The TUC Dying to Work Voluntary Charter states the following:
1. We recognise that terminal illness requires support and understanding and not additional and avoidable stress and worry.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. In addition to the Charter, a negotiator’s guide to terminal illness will also be launched at the same time outlining how union reps can raise the issue of terminal illness and broach the topic with employers.
– More information about the Dying to Work campaign can be found at www.dyingtowork.co.uk
– The event is taking place in Room A, 1 Parliament Street. Press should enter Parliament through the entrance at 1 Parliament Street and call Sarah Coombes on 07743325890 to be escorted to the room.
– All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk
– Follow the TUC on Twitter: @The_TUC and follow the TUC press team @tucnews