Issue date
24 Nov 2016

Sheffield City Council yesterday (Tuesday, 22 November)  became the first employer in Yorkshire to add its name to a charter aimed at helping employees who become terminally ill at work.

The authority 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 Santander.

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.

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.

Sheffield Council and Trade Unions sign Dying to Work Charter

Councillor Julie Dore, Leader of Sheffield City Council, said: We want to do the best for our employees and support them where ever we can. By signing the Charter we’re making a public statement that our workers will not have to go through the extra stress and worry about possibly losing their job if they’re suffering from a terminal illness

As one of the city’s major employers were proud to have a loyal and committed workforce. The Charter helps demonstrate our commitment to them and to being a good employer.”

John Mothersole, Chief Executive at Sheffield City Council, added: The Charter will help provide people with job security and peace at mind when they need it most.”

Yorkshire and Humber TUC Chair, Joanne Thomas, said: “This Charter is about ensuring that employers do the right thing by our members when they face such horrendous personal circumstances. Worrying about your job should be the least of your concerns when you receive a terminal diagnosis. We are therefore delighted that Sheffield City Council have become the first employer in Yorkshire to commit to sign up to the TUC’s Dying to Work Charter

“Around 100,000 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. 

“Over the coming months we hope more employers in Yorkshire and across the UK to follow Sheffield City Council’s lead as we take the Dying to Work campaign into more workplaces.”

David Kitchen, GMB Convenor, Sheffield City Council, said: “Having learned about the Dying to Work campaign I was pleased that Sheffield City Council already abided by the principles of the Charter. I was therefore pleased that the Labour Group have agreed to formalise this support and commit to the Charter.

Jon Mordecai, Chair, UNISON Sheffield Branch, said: We are really pleased that the Dying to Work initiative is growing and that Sheffield City Council were the first employer in Yorkshire to sign. UNISON, and other unions have had experience of members suffering from terminal illness and tyhis Charter shows the way forward in demonstrating how employers manage terminal illness in the workplace.”

Joanne Smeaton, Unite Convenor, Sheffield City Council, said: “As a Sheffield person born and bred it is important to me that Sheffield City Council act like a beacon to other employers in the region and signing the Dying to Work Charter demonstrates their commitment to the dignity of their staff.”