- Charter protects rights at work for those facing a terminal illness
- Campaign began in 2016 following Derbyshire sales manager losing her job after cancer diagnosis
Bradford College has added its name to a charter aimed at helping employees who become terminally ill at work.
The college is the latest employer to sign up to the Dying to Work Voluntary Charter, following in the footsteps of employers such as Rolls Royce, Royal Mail and the Co-op.
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.
Dying to Work was taken forward by the TUC following the case of Jacci Woodcook, an area sales manager from Derbyshire who was forced out of her job three years ago 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 Yorkshire and the Humber, Regional Secretary Bill Adams, said: “Your job should be the least of your worries when you get a terminal diagnosis.
“I’m delighted that Bradford College has shown real leadership in this area, working with unions to guarantee fair treatment for terminally-ill workers.
“Over a million workers are now covered by the Dying to Work charter across the country, and we expect more employers to commit in the coming months.”
Sarah Cooper, Director of People Services at Bradford College, said: “This is a really positive step. Moving forward, staff members with a terminal illness will be supported appropriately and sensitively in line with the charter. We want to ensure we are doing everything we can to support employees and their colleagues as we continue to develop and improve our health and wellbeing initiatives.”
Chris Webb, Chief Executive, Bradford College, said: “Having had personal experience of working with teachers and support staff who have unfortunately been diagnosed as terminally ill, I feel the more employers can do to support them the better. To sign up to a charter helps people understand what help and support is available. That’s why I’m really pleased to have been able to do this.
“It’s such a difficult time for people and their families to go through and signing the charter is the right thing to do.”
Geraint Evans, Bradford College University and College Union Branch Secretary, said: “The UCU sees this as a positive step and it’s really good to see the executive at the college working with the trade unions. This is such a serious and important issue. We have many members who have been, or could be, in this situation and the charter shows a very positive move forward.”
Jack Hemingway, area organiser for Unison, said: “It’s a positive step that we welcome as a trade union. We welcome the steps Bradford College is taking and we hope it will benefit our members in the future.”
Notes to Editors:
- A list of Charter signatories can be found here: https://www.dyingtowork.co.uk/whos-signed/
- The TUC Dying to Work Voluntary Charter states:
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.
- More information about the Dying to Work campaign can be found at www.dyingtowork.co.uk
The Trades Union Congress (TUC) in the Midlands exists to make the working world a better place for everyone. We bring together more than 1 million working people who make up our 49 member unions. We support unions to grow and thrive, and we stand up for everyone who works for a living.