Your rights at work

If you have or have had cancer, you are protected by law from unfair treatment at work.

What are my rights?

If you have or have had cancer, you are protected by law from unfair treatment at work. It's unlawful for an employer to treat you less favorably (discriminate against you) because of your cancer.

In England, Scotland and Wales, employees with cancer are protected from discrimination in the workplace by the Equality Act 2010. 

The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and its extension, the Disability Discrimination Order of 2006, protect workers in Northern Ireland.

Where reasonable, your employer should make changes to help you do your job during and after your treatment. These changes are known as reasonable adjustments.

Download our short guide to find out more about your rights at work.


Watch: Helen's story

Helen talks about her experience of working through cancer and how she asked her boss to make adjustments.

Watch: Helen's story

Helen talks about her experience of working through cancer and how she asked her boss to make adjustments.

More information and support

  • General information

    For employees

    If you have cancer, it can be difficult to know how to talk to your employer about it. It's important to remember that there are laws protecting people with cancer in the workplace.

  • General information

    If you're a carer

    Balancing work and looking after someone with cancer can have a big impact on your life. Learn about your rights and the support available.

  • General information

    If you're self-employed

    Worries about work are very common for people affected by cancer. They may seem especially tough if you're self-employed or run your own business.

  • General information

    For your employer

    Macmillan at work provides information, training and resources for your employer to help them support staff affected by cancer.