Work is important for many people with cancer or caring for someone with cancer, for lots of reasons. Going to work can give a sense of normality to their life. It can also help with recovery.
Managers and employers play an important role in supporting people with cancer and their carers.
If a person has or has had cancer, they are protected by law from unfair treatment at work for the rest of their life. Under equality laws, managers and employers should try to support employees. This includes making reasonable adjustments to help them stay in or return to work when they are ready and able.
When exploring making reasonable adjustments to the workplace or working pattern, your employee should be fully consulted and involved in the process.
Some simple first steps to support your employee could be to:
- talk to your employee to understand their needs
- provide training for managers
- check your policies are up to date
- educate employees
- raise awareness of cancer.
Macmillan at Work offers workplace training, guidance and resources to help managers and HR professionals feel confident and equipped to support employees affected by cancer.
It’s free to sign up and enables you to receive a free Essential Work and Cancer Toolkit for your organisation and access our expert training.
- Find out more and sign up to Macmillan at Work
We have a range of content available for your employees that you can show them too:
Booklets and resources
Work and cancer top tips for line managers
Download these tips for line managers designed to guide you and support your employee through the cancer journey, from diagnosis through treatment and living with cancer.
Guidelines developed with employers and people affected by cancer to help organisations implement a buddying system in the workplace.
Cancer policy template
A template to help HR teams develop a company policy for handling cancer in the workplace.
Carers’ policy template
A template for HR teams to develop a company policy for supporting staff who are caring for someone with a long-term condition. Download the carers' policy template.
Supporting an employee affected by cancer can be tough, especially when you run a small business. You may be worried about how it will impact your team and the day-to-day running of the business. Find out about your legal responsibilities as well as ways of supporting your employees through cancer or a bereavement.
How can I talk about cancer with employees?
Hear advice from HR professionals on how to talk to people with cancer. Also hear how people told colleagues about their diagnosis.
How can I find out more information about cancer?
A cancer doctor explains how cancer develops, how it can be treated and what might happen.
What impact will cancer have on my business?
Find out how a small company should deal with the financial implications of an employee with a cancer diagnosis.
What are my legal responsibilities?
Find out how two employers made temporary changes to their employees' work duties to help them remain in work during treatment for cancer.
How can I help with bereavement?
Hear how two managers handled the death of their colleagues, the impact it had on their teams, and advice from a bereavement counsellor.
What support can I give to carers?
Watch real examples of how people were supported by their employers when they were looking after someone with cancer.
How we can help
Chat online anonymously to others who understand what you are going through. Our community is available 24/7 and has dedicated forums where you can get advice and ask our experts.