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Issue date

* 3rd October

* For Immediate Release

Santander signs TUC's Dying to Work Charter

Santander Bank today (Monday) added its name to a new charter aimed at helping employees who become terminally ill at work.

Santander is the latest high-profile employer to sign up to the Dying to Work Voluntary Charter, following in the footsteps of companies such as E.On, Legal and General, and Carillion Rail.

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

The signing took place at Santander’s head office at 10.30am Monday at 2 Triton Square, Regent's Place, London NW1 3AN.

Those attending included:  

  • Barbara Hobday, Santander’s Employee Relations, Policy and Change Director
  • Paul Nowak, TUC Deputy General Secretary
  • Linda Rolph, General Secretary, Advance
  • Debbie Cort, CWU Telecoms & Financial Services Executive

Dying to Work was taken forward by the TUC following the case of Jacci Woodcock, 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.

Santander Employee Relations, Policy & Change Director, Barbara Hobday, said: “Supporting colleagues through terminal illness is something we take very seriously at Santander and we fully endorse the TUC’s initiative to ensure protection and peace of mind at this most difficult time. We are proud to be the first Bank in the UK to sign up to the TUC’s charter.

TUC Deputy General Secretary, Paul Nowak, said: “Worrying about your job should be the least of your concerns when you receive a terminal diagnosis. We are delighted that Santander have committed to sign up to the TUC’s Dying to Work Charter.  

“More than 60,000 employees across the country 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. 

“Over the coming months we expect more companies to follow Santander’s lead and commit to the charter as we take the Dying to Work campaign into more workplaces.”

Linda Rolph, General Secretary, Advance, said: “Having a terminal illness does not just affect the person who has been diagnosed with the condition – it affects their family and friends also.  People with such illnesses are faced with the heart-breaking task of having to make plans for their loved ones for after they are gone. 

Dying to Work encourages the employers of individuals in this position to give them the help and support that they need in this difficult time.  By giving peace of mind through the provision of financial security whilst also being sensitive to the unique workplace needs of people with terminal illnesses, this gives these people dignity and respect at a time when they need it most.  I am pleased to see that Santander has subscribed to this important charter”

CWU Telecoms and Financial Services Executive, Debbie Cort, said: “Tragically, more and more people in work are being struck down by a terminal illness. It is very important that they are allowed dignity and financial security in the final stage of their life.

“Santander has a good track record of dealing with terminally ill workers in a sympathetic manner, and I'm really pleased that they are making a public commitment to this by signing the TUC’s Dying to Work Charter

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Other employers to sign up to the charter include:

  • Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, Harrow Council and Nottinghamshire County Council.
  • Nottingham City Homes.
  • The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.
  • Southport & Ormskirk NHS Trust.
  • AB Produce.

- 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

- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk
- Follow the TUC on Twitter: @The_TUC and follow the TUC press team @tucnews

- Santander UK is a financial services provider in the UK that offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. It has brought real competition to the UK, through its innovative products for retail customers and relationship banking model for UK SMEs.  As at 30 June 2016, the bank serves around 14 million active customers with c. 20,000 employees and operates through 847 branches (which includes 58 university branches) and 69 regional Corporate Business Centres. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in the UK. Santander UK plc customers are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK.