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Two in five cancer patients ‘face prejudice’

Two in five cancer patients ‘face prejudice’

Bosses risk prosecution with the number of cancer patients who feel discriminated after returning to work on the rise. That is the warning from the leader of Macmillan Cancer Support charity – after it found that 37% of sufferers who go back after treatment say they meet some kind of prejudice from employers or colleagues. This is a rise of more than 50% on the 23% figure in 2010.

Macmillan chief executive Ciaran Devane said: “Employers are risking prosecution by flouting their legal responsibility to protect people living with cancer from unfair treatment and stigma at work.” Nearly one in 10 (9%) of the 168 cancer sufferers polled by Macmillan felt so harassed by their boss they felt they could not stay in their job. More than one in eight believed their employer had not made reasonable changes to help them carry on working and 8% said they felt “abused” by their bosses or colleagues.

Patients also reported:

  • being denied time off for medical appointments
  • being overlooked for promotion
  • having unfavourable appraisals linked to their cancer

Ms Devane called for greater understanding of how the impact of cancer treatment may affect returning workers.

IBB’s Employment Team provides advice on the employment aspects of all major business decisions. To contact a member of the team for advice, call us on 01895 207892 or email employment@ibblaw.co.uk