The Dying to Work Campaign was inspired by Jacci Woodcock from Derbyshire whose employer tried to force her out of her job after she was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer.
Instead of accepting her fate, Jacci started the campaign which has been backed by the TUC and has gained national recognition with scores of councils, health trusts and private companies signing a charter guaranteeing they respect the dignity and right to work of terminally ill staff.
Cllr James Mills, Leader of West Oxfordshire District Council, said: “When I read about the Dying to Work campaign I was both touched and saddened at the treatment of some workers by unscrupulous employers.
“I am determined this should never be allowed to happen at the Council and I am happy to sign the Charter to ensure no-one is ever treated in this way.
“Having to face news of a terminal illness is a hugely distressing situation for anyone and we need to offer as much support and advice in the workplace as possible which is why we wholeheartedly support this campaign.”
The Dying to Work Charter sets out an agreed way in which an employee should be treated and supported in the event of a terminal diagnosis.
It offers choice, giving an individual options around how they want to proceed at work either by carrying on as normally as they can for as long as possible or giving up work to spend their remaining time with family and friends.
The Charter requires those signing up to review their sick pay and sickness absence procedures; ensure they have a programme that can provide counselling as well as training for human resources managers on how to deal with terminal illness situations including offering employment protection and ensuring death in service benefits are in place.
Sue Pangbourne, Executive Director at Publica which provides services on behalf of West Oxfordshire District Council, added: “Having to face news of a terminal illness is hugely distressing situation for anyone and the least we can do as employers is offer as much support and advice in the workplace as possible which is why we wholeheartedly support this campaign.”
For more information see www.dyingtowork.co.uk