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A guide that helps organisations support their employees through cancer

  • 4 Min Read

With over 100,000 workers in the UK being diagnosed with cancer every year, Harley Street Concierge recently constructed a guide to ensure that employers are supporting their staff through these difficult times.

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Harley Street Concierge (HSC) recently launched a new guide for employers to follow when an employee has been diagnosed with Cancer. With one-third of people living with cancer being of working age, supporting employees has moved up the workplace agenda.

Dr Sarah Jarvis MBE, commented on how much cancer can impact an individual, saying “The cancer journey is a rollercoaster of emotion especially shortly after you’ve been diagnosed with cancer. Understanding your options, knowing what questions to ask, finding the most appropriate private specialists and organising appointments can be confusing and time-consuming. Cancer support from Harley Street Concierge takes you through each decision, appointment and treatment option, every step of the way.”

In the UK, approximately 50,000 employees spend a large amount of their time caring for someone who has been diagnosed with cancer, in addition to this, 100,000 within the working age are diagnosed with cancer every year. Out of these individuals, 36% of employees receive no support from the company that they work for.

HSC commented on what cancer can create for someone who is diagnosed with this illness, saying “The nature of cancer as an illness creates practical, familial and often financial pressures that impact the overall wellness of the individual. Two of the main stumbling blocks are employees feeling uncomfortable sharing the details of their situation, and subsequently feeling discriminated against, and on the other side employers can feel uncomfortable knowing what support to offer and provide.”

Supporting cancer patients as an employer can be a difficult task, as clear and transparent dialogue is needed in order to support them, in order to aid this, HSC put together a list to help manage and support an employee who gets cancer. It is important that employers think about how to handle it well, how to understand what the employee is going through, get to grip with legal obligations and ask the right questions about returning to work.

Tim Warren, Commercial Director at specialist cancer care provider at Harley Street Concierge said; “Not only does it make practical business sense to look after your employee, but as an employer giving the right kind of support says a lot about the overall culture of your organisation. We provide expert advice and support for employees and businesses at a fraction of the cost of private medical insurance. We ensure that your valued employees get the support that they need when they need it most.”

When an employee is diagnosed with cancer, it’s important to address four main areas.

How to have the conversation with an employee

It’s important to make sure you’re prepared for the conversation and respect their decision to keep things confidential. As well as making yourself flexible in order to be accessible whenever they need to communicate with you.

How to understand what the employee is going through

Reading up on their condition is important to understand what they are going through. With there being over 200 types of cancer. Having knowledge of their specific condition could go a long way.

How to get to grips with legal obligations

Making sure you are familiarised with adjustments to life could also be useful. As well as not assuming that the patient wants to work less because of their condition. It’s also vital to refer back to company guidelines and policies.

How to ask the right questions about a return to work

Although it may be tough to find the right questions to ask, HSC commented that it’s important for employers to talk about returning to work. As well as not equating ‘recovery’ with ‘cured’

For more information about Harley Street Concierge, visit: https://harleystreetconcierge.com/

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