Financial support for your employee

A cancer diagnosis could mean your employee needs to make changes to their job, which may affect their finances. We provide guidance and information to people who need financial support:

  • Macmillan Support Line – welfare rights advisers, financial guides and energy advisers can tell your employees which benefits they are entitled to, how to manage their money and how to reduce bills. Call them on 0808 808 00 00.
  • Face-to-face support – your may be able to speak with one of our welfare rights advisers in person, depending on what services are available in their area.
  • Information – our publications and online information explain different financial issues, including benefits and how to apply for them.

Your employee may also find helpful information from the following sources:

  • gov.uk in England, Scotland and Wales, or nidirect.gov.uk in Northern Ireland
  • Citizens Advice
  • their trade union
  • the Money Advice Service
  • a financial adviser.

If someone’s employment situation changes, their entitlements may change too. It is important to encourage your employee to seek expert advice regarding pensions, insurance and benefits.

How changes at work can affect someone’s finances

A cancer diagnosis could mean your employee needs to make changes to their job. This could be changes in working hours, a resignation or taking early retirement. Before they make these changes, they should seek expert advice.

Changes to their job can cause:

  • a loss of income
  • a change in the pension they are entitled to and payouts from insurance policies, including life, mortgage, income protection and critical illness
  • a change in the state benefits they are entitled to – this can be a big source of new income for people affected by cancer and your employee may not think to apply for them.

The choices someone makes about their employment can affect what financial help they are entitled to. It will also impact their finances in the future. Before formally agreeing to any changes, make sure your employee has had expert advice about what might happen.


Financial support from Macmillan

Cancer can have a serious impact on someone’s finances. People often lose some of their income, while spending more on things like travelling to hospital. Macmillan can help with money worries.

The Macmillan Support Line

On the Macmillan Support Line, we have lots of financial specialists who can help people with their money worries:

  • Welfare rights advisers can help people apply for benefits and other financial support.
  • Financial guides can give guidance on personal finance options, such as insurance, pensions, mortgages and tax.
  • Energy advisers can help people try to reduce their heating and electricity costs.

We can also give people information about Macmillan Grants. These are one-off grants for people affected by cancer who have a certain amount of income and savings.

If your employee is worried about debt, we can refer them to our charity partner StepChange Debt Charity for advice.

Your employer may also find it useful to read our information about financial support and benefits.

The Macmillan Support Line is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm. Our financial guides are available Monday to Thursday, 9am to 5pm and Friday, 9am to 4.30pm. Call us on 0808 808 00 00.

Face-to-face support

Your employee may also be able to meet a Macmillan welfare rights adviser in person. Visit macmillan.org.uk/inyourarea to see where this service is available. Other organisations can also provide support in person, such as Citizens Advice.

Our financial support tool

Employees can also use our online financial support tool. It includes a quick benefits checker and a benefits calculator. Your employee can use these tools to find out which benefits they may be able to get.


Other sources of support

If your employee lives in England, Scotland or Wales, they can find out about state benefits and apply for them online at gov.uk This website has information about financial support, their rights, employment and living with a disability.

If they live in Northern Ireland, they can find out more about financial support, employment and their rights at nidirect.gov.uk Or they can call the Benefit Enquiry Line Northern Ireland on 0800 220 674 for more information.

They can also find out more about benefits from Citizens Advice.

If your employee belongs to a trade union, they may also be able to offer advice.

Your employee may wish to talk to a financial adviser about financial products such as pensions, insurance and investments. These advisers may charge a fee for their services. Your employee can find a qualified professional at unbiased.co.uk They can confirm a financial adviser’s credentials by checking the Financial Conduct Authority website.

Your employee can also get information from the Money Advice Service. It is an independent body set up by the UK government. It runs a free financial health check service and gives general advice about all types of financial matters.

Back to If you're an employer

Policies and resources

If one of your employees has cancer or is caring for someone affected by cancer, we have information to help you support them.

Managing cancer in the workplace

In the UK, over 700,000 people of working age are living with cancer. Managers play a fundamental role in supporting employees affected by cancer.

How cancer affects people

Your employee’s ability to work may change after a cancer diagnosis. To support them, it’s helpful to understand how treatment may affect them.

How to talk about cancer at work

Although it may be difficult for your employee to discuss their cancer diagnosis, open communication may enable you to support them.

Time off for your employee

Some people with cancer will be able to continue to work, others will need time off. There are different options to manage absences.

Occupational health advice

Occupational health advisers can help employers assess whether a role needs to be adjusted in light of an employee’s health.

Supporting carers

Carers who need to look after a dependant are allowed to take emergency time off. They may also wish to request flexible working.

Legislation about work and cancer

In the UK, there are laws that protect employees with cancer from being treated unfairly in the workplace. This includes discrimination, harassment and victimisation.

Bereavement

Although many people survive cancer, your employee or the person they are caring for may die from their illness.