Issue date
07 Mar 2017

Date: 3 March 2017

Embargo: 00.01 7 March 2017

Dying to Work

Leicestershire County Council becomes latest employer to sign up to TUC’s Charter for helping terminally ill workers

Leicestershire County Council will today (Tuesday, 7 March) add its name to a charter aimed at helping employees who become terminally ill at work.

The Council is the latest employer to sign up to the Dying to Work Voluntary Charter, following in the footsteps of employers such as E-On, Legal and General and Santander.

The Charter is part of the TUC’s wider Dying to Work campaign which is seeking greater security for terminally ill workers where they cannot be dismissed as a result of their condition.

Dying to Work was taken forward by the TUC 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 TUC is asking employers to sign up to its voluntary charter to stop cases like Jacci’s happening in the future.

Cllr Nicholas Rushton, Leader of Leicestershire County Council, said:  “We are committed to supporting our staff during the most difficult of times.  Signing this charter is an important way of showing this commitment.”

Jacci Woodcock, GMB member who has inspired the campaign, said "It is wonderful that Leicestershire County Council support the Dying to Work campaign and is testament to their commitment to their employees. I thank them for signing up to the charter and ensuring their staff will not endure what I had to."

Jackie Dean from Leicestershire County UNISON, said: “Unison welcomes the positive support being offered by Leicestershire County Council to staff and their families at a very difficult time.”

Lee Barron, Midlands TUC Regional Secretary, said: “We welcome the fact that Leicestershire County Council have committed to the Dying to Work Charter. Worrying about your job should be the least of your concerns when you receive a terminal diagnosis.

“Over 275,000 workers across the UK are now covered by the Charter. There is real momentum behind the campaign as we work to secure the dignity and protection that all terminally ill workers deserve. 

“We hope and expect more employers to follow the Council’s lead and sign the Charter as we take the campaign into more workplaces across Leicestershire, the East Midlands and, indeed, across the UK.”

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS:

The signing will take place at County Hall, Leicester 7 March at 2.00pm.

Other employers to sign up to the charter include:

·     Birmingham City Council, Gedling Borough Council, Leicester City Council, Liverpool City Council, London Borough of Harrow Council, London Borough of Islington Council, Mansfield District Council, Neath Port Talbot Council, Nottinghamshire County Council, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, Sheffield City Council, South Lanarkshire Council, Tameside Council

·     AB Produce, Acivico, Carillion Rail, E-on, Co-op, Legal & General, Mersey Travel, Pellacraft Santander, The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company

·     National Council for Palliative Care, Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Southport & Ormskirk NHS Trust, Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust

·     British Dietetic Association, GMB, Hospice UK

·     Nottingham City Homes, Central College Nottingham, Sheffield College

- The TUC Dying to Work Voluntary Charter states the following:

1. We recognise that terminal illness requires support and understanding and not additional and avoidable stress and worry.

2. Terminally ill workers will be secure in the knowledge that we will support them following their diagnosis and we recognise that safe and reasonable work can help maintain dignity, offer a valuable distraction and can be therapeutic in itself.

3. We will provide our employees with the security of work, peace of mind and the right to choose the best course of action for themselves and their families which helps them through this challenging period with dignity and without undue financial loss.

4. We support the TUC’s Dying to Work campaign so that all employees battling terminal illness have adequate employment protection and have their death in service benefits protected for the loved ones they leave behind.

- More information about the Dying to Work campaign can be found at www.dyingtowork.co.uk

- Follow the TUC on Twitter: @The_TUC and follow the TUC press team @tucnews