Northumbria Police signs charter to support terminally ill staff

Northumbria Police charter

Northumbria Police and the Northumbria office of the Police and Crime Commissioner have signed the Trades Union Congress’ (TUC) Dying to Work charter, aiming to support terminally ill individuals among 5,092 police officers and staff. 

The Dying to Work campaign works to encourage and help employers to protect the rights of staff in the unfortunate event of terminal illness. The charter asks employers to review sick pay and absence procedures, ensure that they have an employee assistance programme (EAP) in place, provide training to line managers and HR staff, and notify employees of their commitment to the pledge. 

This charter has now been embedded into Northumbria Police’s policies and procedures, and managers have been made aware of the changes and how to progress should one of their staff become in need of support.

The pledge has been communicated to managers and employees in supervisory roles. In addition, this has been communicated to all staff and officers through internal messaging channels and is hosted on the internal police website.

Ben Priestly, national officer at trade union Unison, said: “The charter guarantees the dignity and security of employees who wish to remain at work after receiving a terminal illness diagnosis.

“The Police Staff Council for England and Wales is promoting the charter to all forces as part of the agreement for the 2019 pay award. 

“In addition to Northumbria, the Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire forces have already signed up. Unison hopes that many more forces will follow suit.”

Kim McGuinness, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Your job should be the last thing on your mind when you’re given a terminal diagnosis. You need dignity, you need money, you need a responsible employer [that] will step up and help you through the difficulties that lie ahead.

“Our officers and staff help so many people in their times of need; it’s only right that our organisations do the same.”