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Cancer: Your Rights as an Employee

By: Abigail Taylor - Updated: 12 Apr 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Cancer Work Disability Discrimination

Most people suffer a sense of deep shock when they are told that they have cancer. Many choose to confront this potentially life threatening disease head on, and try to continue their life with as much normality as possible. For many, this also means choosing to keep on working. Others find that they need to keep working as much as they can for financial reasons.

Support from your Employer

Employers should be understanding about the fact that you are going through a very stressful time and should relate to you in a supporting manner to help you cope with the cancer and its treatment.

Before Treatment

Before treatment, it's often difficult to know just how the treatment may affect you, and it's helpful to let your employer know this so that they are aware that you may need to change your work plans at short notice.

You may need to contact your employer out of office hours, so it may be worth asking if they are prepared to give you contact details in case you need to contact them out of the office. Most employers will be happy to give you their mobile number, or an email address they can remotely access.

Communicate with your employer or HR manager; they may be able to make changes to your duties and your working hours to enable you to continue working throughout your treatment. Understandably, some employers may not have had any experience of dealing with an employee with cancer before, so the more you communicate with them, the more they can try to support you in the best way possible. It is likely that you will need to take time off work for treatment and recuperation during your treatment. This time off can be taken as:

  • sickness absence
  • an agreed reduction in working hours or days per week (for example if you need to attend a weekly hospital appointment)
  • paid holiday
  • a combination of the above

Your employer or HR manager should be able to give you all the information you need about your company's sickness policy and how much paid and unpaid leave you are entitled to.

Reasonable adjustments

Your employer must by law make reasonable adjustments for you to ensure both your safety at work, and to enable you to continue working with an illness if you wish to do so. What constitutes 'reasonable adjustments' will largely depend upon your type of employment. For example:

If employed in a factory - can you do your work sitting on a stool rather than standing so it is less tiring?

If employed in a restaurant - can you take your break in small chunks more regularly, rather than a full hour at once?

Some adjustments can be expected to be considered across every role however. These include:

Reducing your working days to work part-time

Altering your working hours (for example to start earlier and have a longer lunch break to enable you to attend local appointments during this time)

Altering your working environment to make your work less tiring in some way - for example locating you next to equipment you need, or providing a trolley to reduce the need to carry heavier items.

Discuss adjustments with your employer

You should discuss any adjustments that you feel would benefit you in dealing with your illness with your employer. Whilst your employer has a legal duty to make reasonable adjustments, the onus is on you to tell your employer what you feel you need, or what particular aspects of your work you are finding challenging. Identify any problems to your employer so that they are aware of these issues and can consider solutions with you. Be aware that your employer may be unable to offer an adjustment (for example starting earlier), but they should explain their reasons for not allowing any requested adjustment with you. Just because a requested adjustment is not made does not make it unreasonable.

Privacy and Confidentiality

If you tell your employer you have cancer but don't want your colleagues to know, your employer should respect your wishes and not discuss your illness with anyone without your permission. Union representatives and HR managers should also observe your privacy and not pass on any confidential information about you. Occupational health staff are bound by the patient confidentiality code of all health professionals and so will not tell anyone about your illness without your express permission. Whilst many people don't want "a fuss" or sympathy, you may benefit from the support of your colleagues. This may also prevent awkward questions later on if you have to take a period of absence, or for example lose your hair due to chemotherapy. However, if don't feel you can discuss your illness with colleagues personally, your employer or HR manager may be able to do this for you in an agreed sensitive way, such as in a staff meeting or via staff bulletin emails, at your request.

Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA)

Now superseded by the Equality Act 2010 but the same principles apply, under the DDA, it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a person because of their disability. Everyone with cancer is classed as disabled under the DDA (due to this being a long-term illness) and so is protected by the Act.

The DDA also covers workers who were disabled in the past, even if they are no longer disabled. A worker who has had cancer in the past, but is currently in remission or is now completely cured, will still be covered by the DDA even though they may no longer be receiving treatment. Therefore, an employer cannot discriminate against a person for a reason relating to them previous having cancer.

The following scenarios may give you cause to report your employer for discrimination. If your employer:

  • Does not making reasonable changes so you can carry on doing your job
  • Gives you a warning for excessive sick leave without making allowances for your cancer
  • Suggests it would be best for you to stop working
  • Dismisses you for a reason that might relate to your illness
  • Demotes you
  • Overlooks your promotion case because of a reason related to your cancer
  • Chooses you for redundancy because you've taken more sick leave (due to cancer) than others
  • Does not allow you time off for medical appointments

If you feel that you are being discriminated against at work due to currently or previously having cancer, you can do something about it. The steps you can take are:

  1. complain to your line manager or area manager
  2. formally complain using your company's grievance procedures (which should be available upon request from your line manager)
  3. take your employer to an Employment Tribunal

If you think you have been discriminated against, you should complain as soon as possible after the discriminatory act takes place, or after the period of discrimination ends. If you wish to take your complaint to the Employment Tribunal, you have three months from the date of the discriminatory act, or end of the period of discrimination to do so.

Further information regarding your rights under the DDA and more useful advice is available in our article Disability at Work.

After Cancer Treatment has Finished

Whilst most people often expect to be 'over the moon' once their treatment has ended, and feel that they can put their illness behind them. For others, it can often be a difficult. Some people, quite naturally, can have fears about the cancer returning and may feel quite depressed. Usually these feelings diminish over time, but there is support available. Speak to your GP about your concerns, and if you feel it will help, speak to your employer or HR Department to explain that you are still recovering. Cancer is a difficult illness that, along with treatments such as chemotherapy, has a huge draining impact on your body. Do not therefore think that you have to be back to full fitness immediately; as long as you communicate with your employer, they should understand.

You may also need to make your employer aware that you will need to continue to attend your GP or hospital for check-up appointments intermittently for a few years after your treatment. You are entitled to take time off work for these appointments. However speak to your employer about these, as you may not be entitled to be paid for time taken off work for this purpose unless it is part of your holiday entitlement.

Research has shown that people who have had treatment for cancer are as productive, or even more productive, than people who have not suffered from the illness. It has been shown that they take less time off work than other employees and, even though they may have lasting effects from the treatment, they still work extremely hard and effectively.
If you are being interviewed for a new position and you are asked about whether the cancer might inhibit your ability to do the job (even though you may have been cured for some time), it can be worth pointing these facts out. Cancer survivors often have an incredible strength of character and ability to deal with stressful situations which would make you an asset to any employer.

Remember, failure to hire you for a role on the basis of you currently or previously having cancer is discriminatory, in the same way as not hiring someone because they are gay or from an ethnic minority group.

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[Add a Comment]
Hi I was diagnosed with breast cancer July 2017 I have been off sick and currently coming to the end of my treatment. I have accured 26 days holiday from March to March. I have discussed with work a phase back however they are telling me if my phase back is only two days a week for say three months then I have to use my holiday accrued from last year as they don’t pay me for the days that I will not be at work.Pleas can you advise
Nicci - 12-Apr-18 @ 4:32 PM
I am an nhs worker and have worked for the nhs for 35 years. I went off sick last June with stress as I my teenage son came home after a traumatic brain injury 21 months before . I was obviously his main carer. I was attending HR meetings to keep them happy but in Jan 2018 I was diagnosed with Breast cancer - I started chem therapy in February and will not finish this till July at the earliest , I will require surgery around Aug / Sept followed by radio therapy . I will also have a reconstruction at some point later on . I can actually retire in Nov 2019 but my applicationfor ill heath retirement has been rejected ( they base it on 60 rather than my 55 yr pension ) I am going to appeal but HR are harassing me and enforcing that I attend meetings even though I am going through this stress of treatment and also still caring for my son. They want me to either have an unpaid career break or put me through the capability dismissal route . Can they insist on this whilst I am having treatment for cancer ?
Dibs - 20-Mar-18 @ 11:10 PM
Sally C - Your Question:
I was diagnosed in March 2017 with breast cancer, I have undergone chemotherapy, mastectomy, radiotherapy and now taking chemotherapy tablets. I will also be looking at reconstruction surgery at some point, hopefully this year. In my contract I am entitled to 3 months at full pay, 3 months at half pay then no pay for sick leave. I've taken 118 sick days throughout my treatment (some enforced as my employer refused to allow reasonable adjustments) but my employers tell me I'm no longer entitled to any payment and that they mistakenly overpaid me in December and January and that I have to pay back the money.Whilst I was undergoing chemo my employers made the decision to relocate to a site which is far from acceptable and makes it more difficult to get there. I've has to buy a car just so I can get to work. When we were told about the move we were advised that we would be offered redundancy after 3 months of working at the new site if that was our decision. Clearly I've not had 3 months of being able to work continuously at the new site but want to know if that offer is still on the table. I would consider accepting redundancy as going to work is now becoming financially implausible. I do feel discriminated against but don't know if this would make any difference.

Our Response:
Do you have a union? Your employer chose to move to a new site for business reasons, so it's unlikely that wouldn't be classed as discrimination. You need to talk to your employer about the redundancy options -butalso if you feel your employer's previous actions are discriminatory you should follow this up as advised in the above article.
SafeWorkers - 20-Mar-18 @ 3:19 PM
Hi I was our for nine months for ovarian cancer.I was ready to come to work in eight months.The physician I work for said he did not think I was ready to come back. He was not my doctor. He said he thoughtI would get sick.I got a release from my Oncologist and while I was out he promoted my subordinate to my job with out telling me and giving her 18 K pay raid , 5K more than me.I threw a fit finally he gave me 5k pay raised but changed the duties of my job.By him not letting me come back sooner and tell me he was going to to call me weekly for the next month which he never did. Is this discrimination? Thank you.
Shirley - 20-Mar-18 @ 12:58 AM
I was diagnosed in March 2017 with breast cancer, I have undergone chemotherapy, mastectomy, radiotherapy and now taking chemotherapy tablets.I will also be looking at reconstruction surgery at some point, hopefully this year. In my contract I am entitled to 3 months at full pay, 3 months at half pay then no pay for sick leave.I've taken 118 sick days throughout my treatment (some enforced as my employer refused to allow reasonable adjustments) but my employers tell me I'm no longer entitled to any payment and that they mistakenly overpaid me in December and January and that I have to pay back the money. Whilst I was undergoing chemo my employers made the decision to relocate to a site which is far from acceptable and makes it more difficult to get there.I've has to buy a car just so I can get to work.When we were told about the move we were advised that we would be offered redundancy after 3 months of working at the new site if that was our decision.Clearly I've not had 3 months of being able to work continuously at the new site but want to know if that offer is still on the table.I would consider accepting redundancy as going to work is now becoming financially implausible.I do feel discriminated against but don't know if this would make any difference.
Sally C - 19-Mar-18 @ 2:09 PM
Fran - Your Question:
Hi. Sorry to bother you. Today I have attended a sustainability meeting with work. I had breast cancer 10 years ago. In April last year during a routine check I found out that the cancer had come back. On the 6th July 2017 I had an operation followed by chemo and radio which was completed on 23rd Jan 2018. During the treatment I had a CT scan which showed something in the appendix. My operation has been cancelled twice and the 3rd date is Monday 12th March. During the meeting they discussed coming back to work (I don't have a timeframe) until they take the appendix out and it being looked at in the lab. But there is a possibility of another op. They talked about ill health retirement but I have queried this with a previous company pension and I am not ill enough to have this. The other they mentioned was dismissal. Do they have reasonable grounds to dismiss me. ThanksFran

Our Response:
They can't easily dismiss you because of cancer as it is included as a protective "characteristic" under the terms of the Equality Act. It might be better to talk to Macmillan (The Macmillan Support Line is 0808 808 00 00 where you can talk to a financial guide) or ACAS
SafeWorkers - 12-Mar-18 @ 2:30 PM
Hi. Sorry to bother you. Today I have attended a sustainability meeting with work. I had breast cancer 10 years ago. In April last year during a routine check I found out that the cancer had come back. On the 6th July 2017 i had an operation followed by chemo and radio which was completed on 23rd Jan 2018. During the treatment I had a CT scan which showed something in the appendix. My operation has been cancelled twice and the 3rd date is Monday 12th March. During the meeting they discussed coming back to work (I don't have a timeframe) until they take the appendix out and it being looked at in the lab. But there is a possibility of another op. They talked about ill health retirement but I have queried this with a previous company pension and I am not ill enough to have this. The other they mentioned was dismissal. Do they have reasonable grounds to dismiss me. Thanks Fran
Fran - 9-Mar-18 @ 8:47 PM
After my breast cancer treatment I want back to work .after 12 month but working as a bus driver it was very hard ..started with half day two days a week ...now am doing three days a week ..still feeling the pain under my arm and breast...today the manager said they can't give me part time any more and put me off sick and they are going to dismiss me on medical grounds after working for them for 17 years
Abby - 24-Jan-18 @ 7:42 PM
Mavi - Your Question:
Hi there, recently diagnosed with breast cancer and about to start my programme of recovery which involves chemo, lumpectomy and then radiotherapy. Was due to be on holiday at the moment and obviously have had to cancel this. I am currently working from home and will continue to do so while I am fit enough. Work have been very understanding and realise some weeks will be worse than others and I won't be able to work continuously for 9 months. I will take sick leave while undergoing the lumpectomy. What is the position with annual leave being carried over? I am due to go away in May but the oncologist will let me know whether this is feasible. She is hoping it will be doable as it will be part of my recuperation before another bout of chemo but until nearer the time, will not know. If I am unable to take my annual leave, should my company allow me to carry it all forward to next year? Normally, we can carry forward one week which must be used by the following February. The way I look at it, I could have been signed off for the total 9 months but am keen to keep focused on something other than the cancer. If I was off for 9 months (same as maternity leave) I am assuming I could take my annual leave the next year. Any guidance on this would be appreciated.

Our Response:
It's not a clear cut rule as far as we can tell but ECJ cases suggest a precedent for being able to take your statutory annual levea in the following year if you are unable to take it in the entitlement year. Contact ACAS for clarification.
SafeWorkers - 23-Jan-18 @ 1:58 PM
Hi there, recently diagnosed with breast cancer and about to start my programme of recovery which involves chemo,lumpectomy and then radiotherapy.Was due to be on holiday at the moment and obviously have had to cancel this.I am currently working from home and will continue to do so while I am fit enough.Work have been very understanding and realise some weeks will be worse than others and I won't be able to work continuously for 9 months.I will take sick leave while undergoing the lumpectomy.What is the position with annual leave being carried over?I am due to go away in May but the oncologist will let me know whether this is feasible. She is hoping it will be doable as it will be part of my recuperation before another bout of chemo but until nearer the time, will not know.If I am unable to take my annual leave, should my company allow me to carry it all forward to next year?Normally, we can carry forward one week which must be used by the following February.The way I look at it, I could have been signed off for the total 9 months but am keen to keep focused on something other than the cancer.If I was off for 9 months (same as maternity leave) I am assuming I could take my annual leave the next year.Any guidance on this would be appreciated.
Mavi - 22-Jan-18 @ 9:41 AM
My husband smd I were employed ss wardems on a caravan park. My husband has just been diagnosed with Myeloma. Due to start chemo next week. Our boss has been informed through all the tests. Day after diagnosis he informed us that because my husband may not be able to do all the duties he was employed to do, we were both fired. Reason for my demise .. I will need to take time off to take him to drs etc. As we live in a caravan on site we have to pack up and leave in 5 weeks time. We need advise if we have a case to persue. Thank you.
Bailey - 20-Jan-18 @ 10:54 PM
Sammiejo- Your Question:
My husband was diagnosed with stomach cancer 7 weeks ago he has had all of his stomach removed and has had phenomena I returned to work last week after organising help for my husband whilst at work I only work a 5minutes away from home on returning to work I was informed I was being transferred to another branch which is 40minutes away I have tried to explain to work I don't have anyone to help with husband as this means I'm away an extra 2hours but they are just cold saying the decision has been made is there anything legally I can do

Our Response:
You do have the right to request flexible working hours and your employer should give a valid reason for refusing. Macmillan Cancer Support might be able to help. Or try contacting ACAS
SafeWorkers - 5-Dec-17 @ 2:27 PM
My husband was diagnosed with stomach cancer 7 weeks ago he has had all of his stomach removed and has had phenomenaI returned to work last week after organising help for my husband whilst at work i only work a 5minutes away from home on returning to work i was informed i was being transferred to another branch which is 40minutes away i have tried to explain to work i don't have anyone to help with husband as this means I'm away an extra 2hours but they are just cold saying the decision has been made is there anything legally i can do
Sammiejo - 4-Dec-17 @ 6:20 PM
Tam - Your Question:
I started a new job last week. My first day I asked if it would be ok that I that I have the following Thursday & Friday off as I have drs appts scheduled. Office manager said she would speak with owner. Come Monday I asked she spoke with the boss/owner. She said unfortunately we were short on people and booked solid (work for cleaning co). I explained I was a cancer patient doing clinical trial and I couldn't change appts for the following week as my Dr will be out all week. Still wouldn't budge. I think I'm definitely being discriminated against. I felt as if I had to resign rather then be fired for being a no show. I even tried a compromise of combing my scans and lab/ers appts for one day and work on keeping the job. She asked if I would like for the owner Annemarie to call me so I could speak with her. I never got that phone call. Would should my next step be?

Our Response:
It might have been advisable to inform the company at the time of your interview that you would be unavailable during the following week. If you feel you have been discriminated against because of your cancer/disability, you should follow the steps advised in the above article.
SafeWorkers - 22-Sep-17 @ 2:28 PM
I started a new job last week. My first day I asked if it would be ok that I that I have the following Thursday & Friday off as I have drs appts scheduled . Office manager said she would speak with owner. Come Monday I asked she spoke with the boss/owner. She said unfortunately we were short on people and booked solid (work for cleaning co). I explained I was a cancer patient doing clinical trial and I couldn't change appts for the following week as my Dr will be out all week. Still wouldn't budge. I think I'm definitely being discriminated against. I felt as if I had to resign rather then be fired for being a no show. I even tried a compromise of combing my scans and lab/ers appts for one day and work on keeping the job. She asked if I would like for the owner Annemarie to call me so I could speak with her. I never got that phone call. Would should my next step be?
Tam - 20-Sep-17 @ 8:22 PM
I've been diagnosed with secondary breast cancer to my bones. I've been off work for 12 weeks and wanted a phased return which school have agreed to but 2 weeks in I'm starting on a new drug that may cause low blood count and infections but because I work in a school may have to go on sick again. Will I lose any ask pay if I'm sick while on phased return.
Te123 - 6-Sep-17 @ 7:23 PM
Dusty - Your Question:
I was diagnosed with leukaemia in January 2015 and have been on medication since in may this year 2017 I was 60 and asked if I could reduce my hours but was told by manager we'd love to but can't yet there are people who I work with perfectly healthy that have had their hours reduced I feel this is bordering discrimination am I right?

Our Response:
Your employer has a duty to make adjustments to assist with your condition, if you are suffering from any condition covered by the Equality Act. Follow the steps advised in the above article in order to take this further.
SafeWorkers - 17-Aug-17 @ 1:49 PM
I was diagnosed with leukaemia in January 2015 and have been on medication since in may this year 2017 I was 60 and asked if I could reduce my hours but was told by manager we'd love to but can't yet there are people who I work with perfectly healthy that have had their hours reduced I feel this is bordering discrimination am I right?
Dusty - 16-Aug-17 @ 3:07 PM
My wife has undergone breast cancer surgery in february. Has now had her full chemo and is going onto radiotherapy. She has just been told her hours at work are to be cut in half or offered redundancy. Not bexause of the cancer/treatments but because the company is changing the job role so she is not the only one who is affected. But she has been given 2 days to decide...redundancy or cut her hours. Can she take longer to make her desicion.
Geeman - 15-Jul-17 @ 12:48 PM
I am currently on gardening leave after being made redundant & I have just found out that I have a type of throat cancer. Am I entitled to anything from my employer ? The contract doesn't really state about helping employees whilst off ill
TDH - 10-Jul-17 @ 8:07 PM
I was diagnosed March 2016 with bilateral breast stage2 cancer and ovarian. I worked between chemos up to my 3rd, when I became neutropenia, I was in hospital for a week, my company suggested I should stop as my role is visiting GP and Hodpital clinics. I finished Chemo in August and had bilateral mastectomies, I then had 4 weeks of radiotherapy in January followed by a hysterectomy and scalping oopherectomy and returned to work in May for 4 months as my next surgery is due in September. I was subjected to an out burst by my boss last week who said he wasn't sure if I should be back and the job I have now is not the job I left, they have promoted someone on a lower grade and given me a less important role. I also had a training manager tell everyone in the company that I had been on maternity leave? So upsetting, please advise .... thanks
Dunnster - 10-Jul-17 @ 7:33 PM
I had breast cancer surgery in 2015 and am still on medication to stop the cancer returning which is called adjuvant therapy. I had reconstruction surgery in Jan 2017. I work in a secondary school and during my return to work interview it was agreed I need regular breaks due to side effects of the meds and for fatigue. HR are now saying I should be doing supervisory duties before school, two break duties and two lunchtime duties. I won't be able to cope if I don't get a regular break. I feel the deputy head has been involved in this as I am a union rep and have had to bring up concerns for other members of staff regarding having a twenty minute uninterrupted break at lunchtime. I can't prove any of this but I was suddenly informed I need to do these duties a short while after my concerns were raised. Regular rest breaks should be reasonable adjustments surely? They are now saying I need a gp medical note if I can't do it. The HR person slots said 'you can either do the job or you can't!'
Wendy - 2-Jun-17 @ 5:03 PM
My husband had cancer last year for which he had chemotherapy and radiotherapy which made him very poorly, but I'm pleased to say it killed the cancer. He was signed off work by doctors in the February but chose to return to work this January. His return was staggered but he's now full time again and is capable of doing the same work as before the cancer. Although the company were fair with him whilst off sick, since returning full time he's feeling frozen out and not allowed to return to work on the station he previously worked on, but has to work on there when a difficult job comes in that the others cannot do or cannot do as well as him,because he has the most experience. Is he being discriminated against. He's perfectly capable of the work but senses he's not welcome.
Jan - 18-May-17 @ 4:06 PM
FBCD - Your Question:
I returned to work in April 2016 after treatment for stage 2 cancer which returned as stage 4 a few months later. I have been off sick again since October should my employer allow me to carry over all my annual leave (April-April) when I return to work in a few months time?

Our Response:
Yes. While you're on sick leave you continue to accrue annual leave rights. So if you can't take leave because of sickness, you must be allowed to take it when you return to work, even if it means carrying it over to the next leave year. According to the European Court of Justice an employer can impose a time limit on carry-over (after which the leave days will be lost).The carry over period can be quite long e.g. over a year
SafeWorkers - 5-May-17 @ 10:40 AM
I returned to work in April 2016 after treatment for stage 2 cancer which returned as stage 4 a few months later. I have been off sick again since October should my employer allow me to carry over all my annual leave (April-April) when I return to work in a few months time?
FBCD - 4-May-17 @ 10:44 AM
Wamnny - Your Question:
Hi,I have recently been diagnosed with cervical cancer, I have told my employer and advised them that I have to have an operation to remove part of my cervix. Since doing this my employer has turned hostile toward me and even suggested that I postpone my operation to accommodate the annual leave that has been booked by other staff members during that period. They have also made me work longer hours to which I am not being paid overtime to cover the workload. Today I have had to continuously defend myself and my work because the manager has tried to single out administration errors and blame them on me. Once I have had the operation I expect between 2-4 weeks recovery time, today my employer said he finds it unreasonable that I am not able to return after 1 week despite my sick leave being unpaid. Can you give me some advice? I really can't give up my job despite how badly they have made me feel because of money and I am trying really hard to stay positive about it all because I know to leave my current employer would make life a lot harder especially trying to find a new job in my current condition. I do feel the way my employer is treating me is because of my age (I am 29) and I can't help thinking they are punishing me or trying to make me quit.

Our Response:
It sounds as though you have been discriminated against... cancer falls under the Equality Act and you can take action accordingly, but must act fast. Follow your doctor's instructions and have the operation and the recuperation as advised by them. It's your health and your life. If you employer penalises you in any way for this follow these steps:
Send a polite but firm letter to your manager about their treatment of you (mention the Equality Act if necessary) and then complain using your company's grievance procedures (which should be available upon request from your line manager or in your employee handbook).
If that doesn't resolve things, then take your employer to an Employment Tribunal (you have to contact ACAS first).To take a case to an Employment Tribunal, you have three months from the date of the discriminatory act, or end of the period of discrimination to do so.
SafeWorkers - 5-Apr-17 @ 10:34 AM
Hi, I have recently been diagnosed with cervical cancer, I have told my employer and advised them that I have to have an operation to remove part of my cervix.Since doing this my employer has turned hostile toward me and even suggested that I postpone my operation to accommodate the annual leave that has been booked by other staff members during that period.They have also made me work longer hours to which I am not being paid overtime to cover the workload.Today I have had to continuously defend myself and my work because the manager has tried to single out administration errors and blame them on me. Once I have had the operation I expect between 2-4 weeks recovery time, today my employer said he finds it unreasonable that I am not able to return after 1 week despite my sick leave being unpaid. Can you give me some advice? I really can't give up my job despite how badly they have made me feel because of money and I am trying really hard to stay positive about it all because I know to leave my current employer would make life a lot harder especially trying to find a new job in my current condition.I do feel the way my employer is treating me is because of my age (I am 29) and I can't help thinking they are punishing me or trying to make me quit.
Wamnny - 3-Apr-17 @ 6:00 PM
No-name - Your Question:
I don't know if this can happen. My mum is about to start for radiotherapy she now is clear from cancer. Her work is now saying for her to get sick pay she has to go back to work for a week to her scheduled hours, but the doctor has said she is unfit to work. So now they won't pay her in the new financial year, How can a company threat someone like this? If she went to work she wouldn't be insured? I'm confused.

Our Response:
We don't really know the background to your mother's sickness or time she's had off already, so it's difficult to help. It may be due to the periods of sickness she's already had. There is more information. She may need to call ACAS for more individual advice, or there is some information on this government page.
SafeWorkers - 28-Mar-17 @ 1:59 PM
I don't know if this can happen. My mum is about to start for radiotherapy she now is clear from cancer. Her work is now saying for her to get sick pay she has to go back to work for a week to her scheduled hours, but the doctor has said she is unfit to work. So now they won't pay her in the new financial year, How can a company threat someone like this? If she went to work she wouldn't be insured? I'm confused.
No-name - 27-Mar-17 @ 1:37 PM
SimonJ - Your Question:
Back in 2013 I had bowel cancer and underwent surgery and 6 months chemo. Unfortunately the cancer returned last year and I have just completed another 6 months of chemo.I am fit and well having had no symptoms this time round (it was found on my routine scans) and am eager to get back to work full time.My diagnosis is that I will not be rid of it this time, although the chemo controlled it. And I have a never say never attitude.My employer, doesn't know the complete extent of my diagnosis, is now saying they will not take me off sick leave until the get doctors confirmation that I am 'free' from cancer.Is this legal? What are my options?

Our Response:
What are their reasons for this? If they're not sure about your ability to do the job, your GP or consultant should be able to help with this. If they're preventing you from returning to work despite support from medical professionals they may be guilty of discrimination as details in the above article. Macmillan has a free guide here, that you may find useful
SafeWorkers - 27-Feb-17 @ 1:52 PM
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