Susan Elan Jones MP has met with representatives of the Trades Union Congress and made a personal commitment to support the ‘Dying to Work’ charter which supports and protects employees who become terminally ill.
Since its launch in April 2016, The TUC’s ‘Dying to Work’ Voluntary Charter now protects over half a million employees with companies such as Legal and General, Santander, Co-op, Carillion, Rolls Royce, the Royal Mail and E.On and signing up, along with a number of public sector bodies including NHS trusts, police authorities and many local authorities.
The Dying to Work campaign was set up following the case of Jacci Woodcook, a 58-year-old sales manager from Derbyshire, who was forced out of her job after being diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. The campaign is calling for a change in the law to prevent the same thing happening to other working people.
Clwyd South Labour MP Susan Elan Jones MP said: “It beggars belief that we do not have laws on this already. The current situation is really bad – not only can people with terminal illnesses be dismissed or forced out of their jobs, their loved ones also lose the death in service payments that the employee has planned for and earned through a life-time of hard work. It is like something from a Dickens novel – not the sort of thing that should happen in our country today.
“I am proud to have signed the TUC ‘Dying to Work’ charter and encourage businesses in my constituency to follow suit and sign up too. While it’s great that many companies have done this already, we also need the Government to introduce what would be very simple legislation to improve the situation.”
The campaign has been endorsed by a number of trade unions and charities, including The National Council for Palliative Care, Hospice UK, Breast Cancer Care and Second Hope.
TUC Deputy General Secretary Paul Nowak said: “Serious illness is tough enough without having to put up with extra hassle at work. Everyone can surely agree that terminally-ill workers deserve protection.
“That’s why unions, MPs, employers and charities are coming together to ensure that workers get the support and protections they need when times are toughest.”
This broad support was demonstrated in a recent Survation poll of over a thousand people which found that 79% of respondents support a ‘protected period’ for terminally ill workers where they could not be dismissed as a result of their condition with only 3% opposing it.