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Protecting employees with cancer

Tilly Harries discusses the steps employers can take to meet their legal obligations towards employees with cancer and prevent discrimination

9 December 2016

The sad reality is that most of us are married to, related to, know of, or are someone who has or has had cancer. In the UK 100,000 people of working age (between 16 and 64) are diagnosed with cancer each year and there are currently over 750,000 people of working age living with cancer.

The good news is that, thanks to research and medical advancements, the UK’s cancer survival rate has doubled over the last 40 years and around half of patients now survive the disease for more than ten years. However, although many survivors and those who are still undergoing treatment want to return to work, research shows that they are struggling to do so as they do not have the right support from their employers. According to the charity Macmillan, almost one-fifth of people diagnosed with cancer face discrimination from employers or colleagues on their return to work and 14 per cent give up work or are made redundant as a resul...

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