Ask a Work Support Adviser

Questions about work and cancer? Our Work Support team are here to answer your questions. They'll aim to respond within 1 working day.


Posted by

i have been sacked can you help me on what day I do next 

Sian R - Macmillan
Posted by

Hello ,

Thank you so much for taking the time to contact us about your work difficulties. I am sorry to hear about your current work situation and can appreciate that you are scared and worried.

You mention that you have been dismissed from work. If you feel that this was directly due to your cancer diagnosis, then this could potentially indicate disability discrimination.

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.

Due to your dismissal, it is important that you seek further advice on this straight away. The time limit to bring a claim to an Employment Tribunal is 3 months less one day from the date of your dismissal. These time limits are very strict and if you are outside this time limit the tribunal service can refuse to accept the case. There is further information about fair and unfair dismissals as well as discipline and grievance on the ACAS website in the links above.   

If you have worked there at least 2 years (or 1 year in Northern Ireland), you also have protection from unfair dismissal if the employer has failed to follow a fair process in dismissing you.

Under Equality legislation your employer has a duty to make reasonable adjustments for you. It is unclear as to whether this has been done in your case. Reasonable adjustments remove or minimise disadvantages experienced by disabled people.

It is important for you to get advice promptly and you can either call us on the Work Support team or if you are a member of a union it would be advisable to speak your union representative. Whether your dismissal is related to your cancer, or due to another reason, we can explore this further with you and advise on your rights. We are available from Monday to Friday between 8am and 6pm. You can speak to us by pressing option 2, then option 2 again, followed by option 3.    

As you are not currently working, it would be advisable to speak to one of our benefits advisors on our Money and Work team who can undertake a full benefit check to assess potential entitlement to welfare benefits. If you would find it helpful, we also have a team of cancer information nurses who can support and advise on your symptoms post-operation. The telephone number for the support line is below.

I hope you find this information helpful to your situation if you need further support please do not hesitate to contact us.

Work Support Adviser
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.