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MP calls on businesses to support terminally ill workers

LEADING business organisations in the area have been urged to back an evocative campaign to protect terminally ill workers.

MP calls on businesses to support terminally ill workers

Grimsby MP Melanie Onn is working alongside the TUC on ‘Dying to Work’, as the workers’ rights champion looks to protect those who are facing up to the biggest challenge life can deal.

Ms Onn said: “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. That is why I am proud to support this campaign and I hope something will soon be done to ensure that individuals with terminal illness will receive the protection and support they deserve.

“In addition to supporting the TUC’s ‘Dying to Work’ campaign in Parliament, I will be encouraging businesses and public sector organisations in my constituency to sign up to the TUC’s voluntary charter.”

Having already underlined the importance of keeping rights written in EU law post-Brexit, Ms Onn has now written to Lord Haskins, chairman of Humber Local Enterprise Partnership; Rob Walsh, chief executive of North East Lincolnshire Council; Dr Ian Kelly, chief executive of Hull & Humber Chamber of Commerce; Mark Webb, managing director of E-Factor; Richard Sunley, interim chief executive of Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust; Dr Peter Melton, clinical chief officer of North East Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group and Ursula Lidbetter MBE, chair of the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

In her letter, she wrote: “I would like to ask you to consider supporting the TUC’s ‘Dying to Work’ campaign to protect terminally ill workers and sign the voluntary charter that sets out an agreed way in which your employees will be supported, protected and guided throughout their employment, following a terminal diagnosis.”

Launched a year ago, it was set up following the case of Jacci Woodcock, a 58-year-old sales manager from Derbyshire, who was forced out of her job after being diagnosed with terminal breast cancer.

Since its launch a year ago, The TUCs ‘Dying to Work’ Voluntary Charter now protects over 300,000 employees with companies such as Legal and General, Santander, Co-Op, Carillion, Serco and E.on signing up.

The campaign has been endorsed by a number of trade unions and charities, including The National Council for Palliative Care, Hospice UK, Breast Cancer Care and Second Hope.

TUC deputy general secretary Paul Nowak said: “Serious illness is tough enough without having to put up with extra hassle at work. Everyone can surely agree that terminally-ill workers deserve protection.
"That's why unions, MPs, employers and charities are coming together to ensure that workers get the support and protections they need when times are toughest."

Dying to Work Voluntary Charter

  • We recognise that terminal illness requires support and understanding and not additional and avoidable stress and worry
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

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