Colchester Borough Council (CBC) is to sign a commitment to support employees with financial help, counselling and protected employment, if diagnosed with a terminal illness.

The Dying to Work Charter commits employers to protect employees jobs and guide them through their employment with further support following a terminal diagnosis.

The charter, developed by the The Trades Union Congress (TUC), was recommended to CBC’s Cabinet on 5th September and has been committed to by various organisations including The University of Essex, Rolls Royce and a number of NHS Trusts.

Although terminal illness cases are low for CBC, the charter will reinforce the council’s commitment to support employees through what is often a time of huge emotional stress, fear and uncertainty.

Cancer Research UK are projecting that 1 in 3 people will be diagnosed with cancer. Currently, 1 in 10 new cancer cases are found in people under 50.

The charter requires that members adhere to a number of standards, including training managers to understand how to deal with future plans for the employee, reviewing sick pay and sickness absence procedures, and includes a specific commitment that they will not dismiss any person with a terminal diagnosis because of their condition.

The charter also commits to providing employees with access to counselling and financial advice.

Speaking ahead of the recent Cabinet meeting, Councillor Mark Cory, Leader of Colchester Borough Council, said:

“By signing the Dying to Work Charter we commit to treating our staff with the dignity and respect they deserve, as well as providing them with the reassurance of financial security at the time when they need it most.”

Deputy Leader of the Council, Councillor Tim Young, added:

“I am proud that we are leading the way for employers in the borough, by offering a clear pathway of support to staff coping with the stress of a terminal illness.

“This charter offers our employees the comfort of knowing we will do whatever we can to help them if anything happens.”

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