Financial support for your employee

Cancer can have a big impact on your employee’s personal finances. At Macmillan we provide information to people who need financial support. Advice is available through our:

  • Welfare rights advisers - They can tell your employees which benefits they’re entitled to.
  • Financial guidance service – It can help your employee to manage their money and guide them on personal finance issues, such as pensions, savings or mortgages.
  • Publications – They contain information about benefits and how to apply for them.
  • E-learning modules –Macmillan offers a free benefit awareness course.

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

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

How Macmillan can help

Cancer can have a serious impact on personal finances. People often experience a loss of income and, at the same time, increased expenses such as travelling to hospital. Macmillan is well-equipped to help with money worries, offering a wide range of publications and services. We have more information about how we can offer financial support and guidance .   

Welfare Rights Advisers

Many people affected by cancer will be entitled to financial help, but state benefits can be hard to understand and difficult to access. Research shows that the benefits system is not well designed to meet the needs of people affected by cancer.

Our Welfare Rights Advisers on can tell your employee yer which benefits they may be entitled to. They can also help them complete the forms and apply for benefits.

We also have a national network of financial advice centres that your employee can visit. You can search on our website to find your nearest one.

Financial Guidance Service

Our expert financial guides understand how cancer can affect someone’s finances. They can support people affected by cancer to plan and manage their money. They can help with matters such as pensions, borrowing, savings, mortgages, investments, banking and insurance. You may also find our online financial guidance tool helpful.


Your employee may find our section booklet Help with the cost of cancer  useful, which explains state benefits and how to apply for them. We also have financial information and booklets about financial planning, managing money day-to-day, and debt. You can order our booklets from

E-learning module

Macmillan offers a free benefits awareness course, which you might find helpful.

Other sources of support

If you live in England, Scotland or Wales, your employee can find out about state benefits and apply for them online at This website has information about financial support, rights, employment and independent living. Your employee can also get information about these issues from the relevant Department for Work and Pensions helplines.

If you live in Northern Ireland, information about financial support, employment and rights is available online at or from the Benefit Enquiry Line Northern Ireland.

Employees 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.

Impact of employment changes

If a cancer diagnosis causes changes to someone’s employment, they should seek expert advice.

Changes to the person’s employment can cause:

  • a loss of income
  • a change in pension entitlement and payouts under insurance policies, including life, mortgage, income protection and critical illness insurance
  • a change in eligibility for state benefits – this can be a very significant source of new income for people affected by cancer and it may not occur to your employee to apply for benefits.

The choices someone makes about employment can significantly affect their entitlement to financial help and their long-term financial outlook. Before formally agreeing changes in working hours, resignation or early retirement, ensure your employee has obtained expert advice about the consequences for their own situation.

Your employee may wish to consult a financial adviser about financial products such as pensions, insurance and investments. Financial advisers may charge a fee for their services.

Your employee 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 – 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. It can also recommend where to go for more detailed help.

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.


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