About 4.6 million people in the UK are self-employed. Running your own business can be hugely rewarding, but a cancer diagnosis can be particularly worrying if you work this way.
You may have some of the following concerns:
- How will my business be affected? You may need to make decisions about how to keep your business going during and after cancer treatment.
- How will I cope financially? If you need to reduce your working hours, the cash flow of your business could be affected. It could also affect regular repayments of a business loan, for example.
- Who will support me? Being self-employed may mean you work more independently. You may not have the same kind of support that someone working for a larger organisation might have after being diagnosed with cancer.
At the same time, being self-employed can have advantages when you are going through cancer. You may be able to work in a more flexible way and set your own pace.
There is also support available to help you. This includes:
- Support from charities like Macmillan – from information to emotional support. Call the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00 to find out more.
- Small business and self-employment guidance from government schemes around the UK. This includes Business Support Helpline (England), Business Gateway (Scotland), Business Wales Helpline and Invest Northern Ireland.
- Financial support to help you stay in work from the Access to Work scheme, if you are eligible.
- State benefits from the government to support you when you are ill or unable to work.
We give more details about the different types of support available throughout this information.