Notifying work

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Hi my work have been excellent with time off for hospital appointments and tests. 
i have now been diagnosed - 1 week ago. 
I also will qualify for certain benefits 

where do i get required paperwork stating my health issues for work and benefits office 

thank you 

  • Hi  

    Thank you for contacting us here at Macmillan.  My name is Rachel and I am a Work Support Advisor on Macmillan’s National Support Line.  My team provides guidance on your rights at work when you are affected by cancer, and I would like to provide you with some information which I hope will help you plan your next steps.

    Employers can make a huge difference to the working lives of people affected by cancer, so it is great to read how understanding your employer has been with you whilst you have been undergoing tests prior to your formal diagnosis.   You have clearly felt very supported.

    Employers can play such an important role in ensuring people with cancer are supported in the workplace and there is some specific legislation that relates to this.  The Equality Act 2010 or (Disability Discrimination Act 1995 if you live in Northern Ireland), defines cancer automatically as a disability, which means that anyone with a cancer diagnosis is considered to be disabled for the purposes of It.  Under this legislation, providing your employer is aware of your diagnosis, your employer should not discriminate against you because of the cancer, or for reasons relating to it. Your employer also has a duty to make reasonable adjustments to help you at work. This protection is lifelong and doesn’t depend on an active cancer diagnosis.

    Our publication Your Rights at Work, explains more about the Equality Act and how you are protected in the workplace. 

    I am also pleased to read that you have taken advice on any financial support which might be available to you.  This is such an important, practical matter for anyone in your circumstances to address.   If any paperwork or confirmation is required for the benefits side of things, then whoever is supporting you to access them will advise what is required and who will provide it.  We do have a team of Welfare Rights Advisors here on our Support Line who can provide advice and guidance on the benefits system and can also advise on any help towards costs for which you may be eligible.  It may be that you have contacted them already but in case you have not, the team can be contacted on 0808 808 0000, options 1, 2 and 2 and is available Monday to Friday 8am until 8pm and Saturday and Sunday 9am until 5pm.

    It is not clear from your message, whether your employer is aware of your formal diagnosis.  Whilst there is no legal responsibility for you to tell your employer that you have been diagnosed with cancer, it is important to remember that the protection from the equality legislation mentioned above would only apply if your employer is aware or could ‘reasonably be expected’ to be aware of your diagnosis.  Informing your employer could be verbal or in writing and it might be useful for you to think about who in your organisation you would like to know about your diagnosis, as your employer has a legal responsibility to keep this information private if you wish it to remain so.

    Your Healthcare Team (by that we mean anyone involved in looking after your health, including your GP) will be able to support by providing a fit note for example, which will be required by your employer, if you are off work longer that 7 consecutive days through ill health.  It is also a good idea to look at your employer’s policy on sickness absence, so you are aware of what to expect if you need to take time off.   

    I do hope this helps.  Please do contact us again if we can support you further.


    Rachel, Work Support Advisor 

    Remember you can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or by email.