Your rights at work

If you have or have had cancer, you are protected by law from unfair treatment at work. Talking to your employer can be a first step to getting the support you need.

What are my rights?

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

Under equalities law your employer should try to support you. This includes making changes (known as reasonable adjustments) to help you stay in or return to work when you are ready and able to. To find out more about your rights, download our short guide.

Get the support you need

However, it can be difficult to know where to start, or what to say. Download out step-by-step guide here to help you find the words to talk to your employer.

If you have questions about work and cancer you can also call our Work Support Service on 0808 808 000, Monday - Friday, 9am-8pm.


Cath seated in her home.

Watch: Cath's story

Cath talks about her experience of working through cancer.

Watch: Cath's story

Cath talks about her experience of working through cancer.

More information and support

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • For your employer

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