UNISON tackles cancer in the workplace

Employers must do more to support workers with cancer.

That was the message at a UNISON Health and Safety fringe event at the union’s national delegate conference last week, as the union launched its campaign “cancer in the workplace”.

The fringe meeting was attended by Macmillan Cancer Support and UNISON’s Disability unit to highlight the issues raised by cancer in the workplace – “from supporting those who have it to supporting those caring for those affected”.

It highlighted that employers responsibilities were to support those with cancer just like any other “disability” and limit exposure to cancer risks in the workplace.

UNISON branches can support employers by:

  • checking employers policies on cancer in the workplace
  • supporting those with cancer
  • supporting carers
  • counselling and occupational health.

UNISON national officer, health and safety, Tracey Harding said: “The ‘big C’ has been stigmatised for too long. However now more people are surviving, or working whilst undergoing treatment for cancer.

“Employers have for too long been ignorant of their responsibilities. Now’s the time to talk openly about cancer in the workplace and show employers what good workplace policies and procedures should look like.”


UNISON disability and health and safety guide

UNISON risk assessment guide

Further information from Macmillan Cancer Support