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TUC campaign to protect terminally ill workers takes to the road

The Dying to Work campaign will begin its national roadshow at the TUC Congress in Brighton. 

It will then visit a number of hospitals after NHS employers lent their support to the campaign in July. The tour’s final stop will be Labour Party Conference later this month. 

The Dying to Work campaign is seeking greater security for terminally ill workers to ensure they cannot be dismissed as a result of their condition. 

The campaign launched in 2016 following the case of Jacci Woodcook, an area sales manager from Derbyshire, who was forced out of her job after being diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. 

The TUC is asking employers to sign up to its voluntary charter to stop cases like Jacci’s happening in the future. 

The campaign’s charter is supported by a number of well-known employers, such as Rolls Royce, Royal Mail and Lloyds Bank. 

The NHS employs around 1.4million workers and the campaign are confident that all NHS employers will now sign the Charter. 

TUC General Secretary, Frances O’Grady, yesterday said: 

“Your job should be the least of your worries when you get a terminal diagnosis. 

“We are delighted that we have over a million workers covered by the TUC Dying to Work Charter and the support of the NHS Social Partnership Forum means we hope to be able to add the entirety of the NHS workforce to this total over the coming months. 

“That’s why we are taking this tour around the country. Our NHS is there for us when we need it, and thanks to NHS employers and unions working together, we are proud that that NHS will be there for its workforce at all times.” 

Editors note

The tour stops will include: 

11th September 

  • TUC Congress, Brighton 
  • London and South Coast Ambulance Service, Crawley 

12th September 

  • Mid and South Essex Hospitals Group 
  • Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 

13th September 

  • Sherwood Forest Ho Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sutton-in-Ashfield 
  • University Hospitals of Derby and burton NHS Foundation Trust, Derby 

14th September 

  • Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Barnsley 
  • Yorkshire Ambulance Service, Wakefield 
  • Hull University Teaching Hospitals Trust, Hull 

16th September 

  • North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, Stockton 

17th September 

  • Cheshire & Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Chester 
  • Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Birkenhead 
  • North West Ambulance Service, Bolton 

18th September 

  • NHS Blood and Transplant, Birmingham 
  • Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, Walsall 

19th September 

  • NHS Wales Infomatics Service, Cardiff 
  • Cardiff and Vale Health Board, Cardiff 

23rd September 

  • Welsh Ambulance Service – Cwmbran 

24th September 

  • Labour Conference, Brighton 
  • The national Social Partnership Forum (SPF) brings together NHS Employers, NHS Trade Unions, NHS England, Health Education England, NHS Improvement and the Department of Health and Social Care to discuss and debate the development and implementation of the workforce implications of policy. 
  • Full text of SPF statement: 

The SPF acknowledges that all NHS employers are sympathetic to individuals that have been given a terminal diagnosis and manage sickness absence with sensitivity balanced with business needs as set out in Annex 26 of the NHS terms and conditions of service. 

The Dying to Work campaign has produced a voluntary charter for individual employers to sign. It commits them to support, protect and guide staff following a terminal diagnosis. 

The SPF is supportive of the TUC’s Dying to Work campaign and the voluntary charter that employers are asked to sign pledging extra employment protection for staff who are terminally ill and would encourage local partnership forums to explore supporting this campaign. 

The SPF is aware that a number of NHS organisations have already signed the charter. For a full list of organisations that have signed the charter and for more information about the Dying to Work campaign please see www.dyingtowork.co.uk. 

A list of Charter signatories can be found here: https://www.dyingtowork.co.uk/whos-signed/ 

The TUC Dying to Work Voluntary Charter states: 

  • We recognise that terminal illness requires support and understanding and not additional and avoidable stress and worry. 
  • Terminally ill workers will be secure in the knowledge that we will support them following their diagnosis and we recognise that safe and reasonable work can help maintain dignity, offer a valuable distraction and can be therapeutic in itself. 
  • We will provide our employees with the security of work, peace of mind and the right to choose the best course of action for themselves and their families which helps them through this challenging period with dignity and without undue financial loss. 
  • We support the TUC’s Dying to Work campaign so that all employees battling terminal illness have adequate employment protection and have their death in service benefits protected for the loved ones they leave behind. 

More information about the Dying to Work campaign can be found at www.dyingtowork.co.uk 

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) in the Midlands exists to make the working world a better place for everyone. We bring together more than 1 million working people who make up our 49 member unions. We support unions to grow and thrive, and we stand up for everyone who works for a living. 


Rob Johnston 
0121 262 6389 
07879 497291


Original article link: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-campaign-protect-terminally-ill-workers-takes-road

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