32% do not feel supported when family is affected by cancer

AXA PPP healthcare distribution director Chris Horlick

Just under a third (32%) of employee respondents do not feel supported by their employer when a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, according to research by Axa PPP Healthcare.

Its Love for the loved ones: how to support employees when cancer affects their family report, which surveyed 1,000 managers of employees who have had a family member diagnosed with cancer and 1,000 employees with a family member who has been diagnosed with cancer within the last five years, also found that 49% of manager respondents report that their organisation does not have a formal policy for employees caring for family members or dependents diagnosed with cancer.

The research also found that more than a quarter (28%) of manager respondents take it upon themselves to offer flexible working to employees who are dealing with a cancer diagnosis in their home life.

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Chris Horlick (pictured), distribution director at Axa PPP healthcare, said: “When someone is diagnosed with cancer, focus rightly turns to that person’s health and wellbeing. But it’s also important to remember the impact the diagnosis can have on the sufferer’s family. In addition to the emotional impact, family members may find themselves facing a host of additional pressures and responsibilities.

“Improvement in treatment is enabling many people affected by cancer to live longer lives with the disease held in check or even cured. While this is welcome, it means that the impact of having cancer in the family will continue to be felt for months and even years to come. There’s much that employers can do to support employees who find themselves in this situation. And, by doing this well, they’ll not only help employees through a difficult time, they’ll also help to maintain morale and productivity and retain valued employees.”