Wednesday 23 May 2018
Susan Long â€“ Maggie's
Having cancer may affect your ability to work.
This page will help you to find out more about work-related issues you may face after a diagnosis of cancer and how ¾ÞÈéÎÞÂë can help.
Choosing whether to work or not
Your feelings and choices about work may change over time and you may feel confused or under pressure to make a decision about whether to continue working or not.
Talk to a Cancer Support Specialist at your nearest ¾ÞÈéÎÞÂë centre to talk through your options which might include:
Before you speak to your employer, it can be helpful to work out what you want to do and what might be possible. You could ask yourself:
Talk to your healthcare team about work and what you ideally would like to do. They can discuss what's possible and help where they can.
Questions you could ask:
Taking time off
At first, it may be difficult to look very far ahead and know how much time off you'll need to take.
The immediate need might just be for some time to deal with the emotional impact for you and your family.
As you find out more about your situation it will be easier to make longer term plans with your employer. You might want to discuss:
It's important to keep in touch with your employer and involve them early on so they can support you at work as your needs change.
One of the biggest concerns when you're thinking about reducing work or taking time off is whether you can afford it.
There is financial help available for you and your family:
Free advice is available from a ¾ÞÈéÎÞÂë Benefits Advisor at your nearest ¾ÞÈéÎÞÂë centre.
They can tell you what you're entitled to and help you to fill out all the necessary forms and support you through the application process.
Your rights at work â€“ reasonable adjustments
It can be helpful to know that you have rights, as cancer counts as a disability in employment law.
This means that not only is it unlawful to discriminate against you in terms of redundancy, promotion and career development but you also have a right to ask for reasonable adjustments to your role.
An employer doesnâ€™t have to agree to every request, but does have to consider them and have a good reason for declining.
It can be difficult to know what adjustments are possible or reasonable to ask for. Some ideas include:
Returning to work
The thought of returning to work after having cancer treatment can be overwhelming.
You will have been through many changes, both physically and emotionally and things may feel different to before. There may also be changes to your role.
Ideally, you will have kept in touch with your employer, so that you can talk about coming back and decide what changes will help you ease back into work.
You may need to build up your return to work gradually to help you deal with post-treatment fatigue and concentration issues.
The â€˜Where Now â€“ Support Beyond Treatmentâ€™ course at your nearest ¾ÞÈéÎÞÂë centre will help build the skills and coping strategies to move forward after treatment, including returning to work.
Your employer may allow you time off to attend as part of your phased return.
Often, work is about more than just the money. There are often many emotions attached to it which can be helpful to work through.
You may feel:
Talking to your employer and colleagues, your family and a Cancer Support Specialist at your nearest ¾ÞÈéÎÞÂë centre can help you ease worries and find ways to keep in touch at work.
Our Cancer Support Specialists can help you talk through issues around work and your feelings about it.
We have Benefits Advisors who specialise in helping you to claim the benefits you, and those close to you, are entitled to.
Last review: Dec 2021 | Next review: Dec 2022
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