On 19 September three NHS Wales employers welcomed the TUC Dying to Work NHS national roadshow and added their names to the Charter. The Dying to Work Charter is aimed at helping employees who become terminally ill at work.
NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership (NWSSP), NHS Wales Informatics Service and Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) have all signed the charter offering additional protections to thousands of employees.
On 23 September the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust (WAST) also signed the charter and on 26 September Cardiff and Vale Health Trust also signed.
The Dying to Work campaign is seeking greater security for terminally ill workers where they cannot be dismissed as a result of their condition. The campaign was taken forward by the TUC following the case of Jacci Woodcook, an area 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 charter to stop cases like Jacci’s happening in the future.
The Dying to Work Charter now covers over a million workers including staff at well-known employers such as Rolls Royce, Royal Mail and Lloyds Bank.
These NHS employers will be the first health organisations in Wales to sign up to the charter.
Tanya Palmer, UNISON Cymru Wales regional secretary said:
“By signing up to the Dying to Work charter, these three NHS Wales employers have committed to ensuring that any employee suffering a terminal illness will be supported and empowered to make decisions about their working life without fear of repercussions or loss of income.
“It is impossible to predict how anyone would react in such a situation - some workers may choose to remain at work for as long as they can, others may wish to spend their time with loved ones. “Whatever a person’s choice may be, having the support of their employer is crucial and we are pleased that NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership, NHS Wales Informatics Services and Health Education and Improvement Wales recognise this.”
Wales TUC’s Dying to Work Lead Gareth Hathway said:
“Your job should be the least of your worries when you get a terminal diagnosis. Our NHS is there for us when we need it, and thanks to NHS employers and unions working together thousands of NHS employees will be supported when they need it most. These 3 employers are leading the way in Wales and I hope to see more Health organisations sign soon.”
Alex Howells, CEO of HEIW said:
“I am pleased that HEIW is one of the first Health organisations to sign the Dying to Work Charter in Wales which will offer protection to staff with terminal illnesses.”
Neil Frow, Managing Director of NWSSP, said:
“We are delighted to sign this charter in partnership with our Trade Union Partners and colleagues, as a demonstration of our ongoing commitment to our employees. By signing the charter it demonstrates our commitment to support and protect the rights of our employees who become terminally unwell. We are extremely proud as an organisation of our employees and aim to support the well-being of each and every employee, especially during a time when they are most vulnerable."
Claire Vaughan, Executive Director of Workforce and OD at the Welsh Ambulance Service, said:
“Signing this charter today, with our trade union partners, clearly demonstrates our continued commitment to care for our people, especially during the most difficult of times.”
Cardiff & Vale University Health Board CEO Len Richards said:
“Being diagnosed with a terminal illness is a time of huge emotional stress, fear and uncertainty. We want our staff to be secure in the knowledge that if they do find themselves in that position, we will do all we can to support them. We recognise that safe and reasonable work can help maintain dignity, offer a valuable distraction and in itself be therapeutic, and will provide employees with the security of work, peace of mind and the right to choose the best course of action for themselves and their families.
"Ensuring that all employees battling terminal illness have adequate employment protection and their death in service benefits protected for the loved ones they leave behind will help to remove unnecessary stress and uncertainty at an already difficult time.”
If your workplace hasn't signed the Dying to Work charter yet visit dyingtowork.co.uk