Dying to work campaign

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2017 National Delegate Conference
20 February 2017

Conference notes that the Equality Act provides protections against discriminatory treatment based on the concept of Protected Characteristics.

Currently workers with a terminal illness are not classified as having a Protected Characteristic and therefore have very limited legal protection against employers dismissing them due to illness.

Conference notes that employers are therefore free to dismiss terminally ill workers once they have made reasonable adjustments to the employee’s job to assist with the illness. Conference agrees that the last thing a terminally ill worker would need is to have to fight for the right to continue working and not face the indignity of being sacked.

In addition Conference notes that the loss of death in service benefits to terminally ill workers sacked before death is a further distress at a time when the future security for a family should be protected.

Therefore Conference agrees to support the TUC’s Dying to Work Campaign and to lobby MPs to establish new legislation which seeks:

1)To get terminally ill workers covered by the Protective Rights at Work in line with those covered by the Pregnancy/Maternity Rights;

2)To protect death in service benefits;

3)To allow workers with terminal illness to die in dignity.

Conference calls on all branches and bargaining groups to approach employers to sign up to the Dying to Work Charter which commits employers to treat workers with a terminal illness with dignity, providing security of work, peace of mind and the right to choose the best course of action for them and their families.