Few cancer patients know their employment rights

Research published last week by Breast Cancer care shows that a large number of cancer patients are not aware of their employment rights once diagnosed.

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) was extended in 2005 to give everyone with cancer legal protection from discrimination from the workplace.  As many as 61% of respondents to the Breast cancer charity’s research were not aware of the changes in the law.

The governments own Cancer Reform Strategy research revealed that while 80 per cent of employers are aware of the Act, less than a fifth know that cancer is classed as a disability.

The cancer charity estimates each year more than 44,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer, and it is estimated that more than 24,000 of these will be of working age

Samia al Qadhi, Chief Executive of Breast Cancer Care commented:-

“When someone is diagnosed with breast cancer they have so much to think about already, without added worries over the amount of time they may need to take off work, loss of earnings and concerns regarding job security."

While the charity’s survey showed that awareness of the DDA was low among employees, 62 per cent of respondents said that their employer was supportive during their treatment.

The EMPLOY Charter provides best practice guidance on how employers can support members of staff with breast cancer. It also points out the legal employment rights of people with cancer and employers’ corresponding responsibilities under disability discrimination law in the UK.

For more information visit www.breastcancercare.org.uk/employ.

Posted by Asif Yusuf

Publisher of Diversity Link



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