NHFT signs Dying to Work charter to support terminally ill employees

Image credit: Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT) has signed the Trade Union Congress’ (TUC) Dying to Work charter, pledging to support employees who become terminally ill while in work.

The charter, which NHFT signed on 12 March 2020, is part of TUC’s campaign to seek a more secure future for terminally ill employees, to ensure they are not dismissed or disadvantaged as a result of their condition. Other employers to sign so far include Royal Mail, Hovis and the Co-op.

The pledge asks employers to review their sick pay and absence procedures, and include a specific commitment that they will not dismiss any person with a terminal illness because of their condition. Organisations are also asked to have an employee assistance programme (EAP) in place, provide training for line managers and HR staff, and notify all employees of their commitment to the charter.

Lee Barron, regional secretary, Midlands, at the TUC, said: “Your job should be the least of your worries when you get a terminal diagnosis.

“I’m delighted that [NHFT] has shown real leadership in this area, working with unions to guarantee fair treatment for terminally ill [staff].”

Angela Hillery, chief executive at NHFT, added: “Signing NHFT’s commitment and support to our staff through the Dying to Work charter was easy for us at team NHFT. We are wholly committed to our employees’ health and wellbeing, and in times of need too.

“Being diagnosed with a serious or even terminal illness is a lot to take in and process and here at NHFT we did not want our staff thinking of the extra burden of not earning or working during this difficult and emotional time. By signing the Dying to Work charter our staff can be rest assured the trust is there to support them.

“NHS employers across the UK are signing up to the charter and we now have over a million [staff] covered across the country. Signing the charter is, quite simply, the right thing to do and we look forward to more employers following suit in the coming months.”