If diagnosed with a terminal illness an employer should surely respond with great sensitivity and offer support. This is not, however, always the case.
Politicians and unions are joining together to back a campaign to make terminal illness a protected characteristic in the workplace. The campaign is being led by an employee with breast cancer who claims she was ‘intimidated’ and ‘bullied’ by her employer following her diagnosis.
Jacci Woodcock, a 58-year-old regional sales manager from Derbyshire, was given a year to live after her diagnosis. When her employer found out she was dismissed from her role following a capability assessment, and, although she reached a settlement, was surprised that she was not afforded the same rights as those with protected characteristics such as pregnancy.
Jacci is now the face of the ‘Dying to Work’ campaign, which is being backed by the TUC and a cross-party group of MPs and aims to change both the EU equal treatment directives and, in turn, UK equality legislation.
Terminal illness is degenerative, which means reasonable adjustments for employees should be made.