This blog provides advice on work and cancer for employers, HR professionals and line managers. If you need further advice or support, please visit www.macmillan.org.uk/work
This is a question to which there is no quick fix as it’s really about changing organisational attitudes and behaviour. Support from the top makes a big difference, and too often it is the case that this only really happens when those people have been affected personally. I think there are three major areas where HR can contribute a great deal to effecting change:
1. Making the case to the top team, appealing to their sense of enlightened self interest
2. Putting some basic policies and processes in place
3. Taking a number of practical, operational actions
Making the case
About 2 in every 100 employees are living with a cancer diagnosis so a Company with 1000 employees might have 20 or so employees in this situation – excluding carers, i.e. those who support a family member or close friend. These numbers are significant and growing. For individual employers not having an employee return to work leads to additional recruitment and training costs. Moreover, dealing sensitively and competently with such cases increases not only those employees’ morale and sense of loyalty but that of colleagues too.
Basic policies and processes
Here are 3 key steps HR can take:
In practice, HR has lots of options in terms of providing practical support. Here are a few suggestions:
HR can make a real contribution to helping people return to work after cancer – we hope this gives you food for thought!
Do you have a question about work and cancer? Email us on email@example.com.
More information is also available at www.macmillan.org.uk/work
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