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I will be starting chemo this week 26/6 and was wondering if I should go back to work, as my main job is driving, 

  • Hi WHEE60  


    My name is Linda and I am a Work Support Adviser on our National Support Line. I can advise on your Rights at Work if you have been affected by Cancer.


    As you have a cancer diagnosis you are considered to have a disability under the Equality Act 2010 or Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (Northern Ireland). This means your employer should not discriminate against you because of your cancer. Your employer is also under a duty to make reasonable adjustments to help you at work. This protection is lifelong and does not depend on an active cancer diagnosis.

    Reasonable adjustments remove or minimise disadvantages experienced by disabled people. Employers must make reasonable adjustments to ensure disabled people are not disadvantaged in the workplace. They should also make sure policies and practices do not put disabled people at a disadvantage.

    You can request a reasonable adjustment in the workplace, providing you can relate it back to your cancer. Your employer has a duty to consider all reasonable adjustments and a failure to do so could suggest disability discrimination. If your employer rejects a reasonable adjustment request they need to be able to demonstrate why it is “unreasonable” for them to accommodate or it could suggest that you are being treated less favourably as a disabled person.

    You have mentioned that your main job is driving. If you feel unable to do this part of your job, you can ask your Employer for reasonable adjustments to be put in place for you. This may be an alternative job role or lighter duties on a temporary basis to allow you to work during treatment if that is what you wish to do.

     You are asking if you should return to work during your treatment. This is a question that is best answered by your medical team. We do not have access to any of your medical information on our Support Line. If you have been allocated a Cancer Nurse Specialist ( CNS) then I would speak to them initially who can have a word with a consultant or oncologist if needed. We also have Cancer Information Nurse Specialists represented in our Ask an Expert Forum. You can ask your clinical question on the link below .


    They can discuss potential side effects of the treatment. We do find that some people are able to work during treatment whilst others are not well enough to do so.

    I hope you have found this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to get back in touch if further support is needed.

    Kind Regards



    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