Kavitha’s keynote: Support for those who are terminally ill  

Kavitha's keynote

Earlier this week, we reported that Lloyds Banking Group has signed the Trades Union Congress’ (TUC) ‘Dying to work’ charter, which offers greater security to individuals who are living and working with a terminal illness.

As part of a wider TUC campaign, the voluntary charter aims to recognise terminal illness as a protected characteristic, meaning employees will benefit from a protected period at work where they cannot be dismissed as a result of their condition.

Providing support to terminally ill employees through challenging times is undoubtedly something that all employers should consider which will be appreciated by those affected. After all, not only does it demonstrate that they provide a supportive working environment, but it can also prove crucial in terms of employees’ financial and emotional wellbeing.

When it comes to taking action to boost wellbeing at work on a day-to-day basis, 40% of employers think that providing office perks, such as a games room, free lunchtime fitness classes and an indoor slide, can reduce employee stress. According to research by recruitment website Totaljobs, more than a quarter (27%) also believe think these perks can enhance productivity.

Another course of action for organisations that may be well-received is the monitoring and reporting of the recruitment, retention and progression of disabled and ethnic minority employees.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has proposed that this becomes mandatory for employers with more than 250 staff. Its deputy chair, Caroline Waters, believes we need the same level of scrutiny and focused action on opportunities for disabled and ethnic minority staff in the workplace as we now have for gender pay.

The question is, will this really encourage employers to take more proactive action when it comes to addressing any existing gaps that may come to light in the same way as it has for gender pay?

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The answer is yes, according to the TUC’s general secretary, Frances O’Grady, who insists that a similar move to require employers to publish their disability and race pay gaps, along with the actions they will take to close them, would be “a step in the right direction.”

Kavitha Sivasubramaniam
Tweet: @kavithasiva_EB