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Dealing with cancer in the workplace - how MacMillan can help

Sadly more people are being diagnosed with cancer each year but the good news is that due to earlier diagnosis and better treatment, more people are surviving and living with cancer. This means that more people are remaining in or returning to the workplace and therefore more employers will have to manage someone who has cancer.  We estimate there are over 700,000 people of working age in the UK who have had a cancer diagnosis.

There are also more people caring for someone with cancer and juggling full or part time work. There are an estimated 500,000 carers of people with cancer in the UK who are working full or part-time.  However, 83% of people think it’s important to continue to work not just for financial reasons but because it represents normality during a very scary time, but 57% have to give up work or change their roles as a result of their diagnosis.  

So Macmillan has put together a number of resources to help employers support employees affected by cancer:

McMillan Work and Cancer Toolkit1.    Essential work and cancer toolkit created for business owners, HR and Occupational Health (OH) staff and line managers to provide them with advice and guidance to support people affected by cancer.  It contains

  • practical advice on how to support employees affected by cancer and information resources to share with them
  • expert guidance about minimising the impact of cancer on organisations
  • top tips for line managers to help them support their employees

2.    Cancer in the workplace DVD. There are five videos which include real life experiences and expert advice. There are five topics including talking about cancer at work and making work adjustments for an employee affected by cancer

3.    We have a range of e-learning modules for managers and OH professionals

4.    Interactive workshops run by us for HR teams mainly but may also be useful for OH staff and line managers.  The training is available for 90 minutes or half day sessions and helps staff have an increased awareness of the cancer journey and some of the challenges faced.  The training can cover these four areas:

  • Talking about cancer at work
  • Making work adjustments for an employee affected by cancer
  • Supporting carers of people with cancer
  • Managing bereavement and end of life

Whatever the size of your company, supporting employees so they can remain in or return to work benefits your business as well as your staff.  It avoids the costly recruitment process and can boost staff morale as employees know the organisation is there to support them.

You can order your free Work and Cancer Toolkit online here .

Alternatively, if you would like to discuss any of the above further, please contact our Fundraising Support Centre on 0300 1000 200 or email sgargan@macmillan.org.uk

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