Cancer: How to support and guide your employees

Research has proven that employees who are fighting cancer need more support from their employer. For a patient continuing to work plays a vital role in recovery stages of fighting cancer. Providing a sense of normality and purpose, to rebuild self-steam and give a focus for the suffer on their job rather than their illness. It is vital that, no matter the circumstance, every employee affected by cancer should be treated individually.

The Employee’s Role

  • Speak to your employer about the situation and work together to ensure you feel supported by work
  • Be informed – get as much information about your condition as possible from the professionals
  • Know your rights at work if you have or have had cancer whilst working in the UK
  • Talk to your manager and colleagues if you want to and let them know how you are feeling and coping
  • Whilst you are off sick from work keep in touch with your employer and in time agree a return to work plan
  • Discuss your sick pay options with your employer
  • Utilise any health or group risk employee benefits that your company provide

The Employer’s Role

  • Reassure the employee about their job security
  • Maintain regular contact whilst the employee is off sick
  • Send the employee company information
  • Discuss any concerns the employee may have about returning to work
  • Consider how to accommodate the employees needs
  • Agree a graded return to work – with consented advice from the GP
  • Consider and organise training needs or refresher courses
  • Cover Health and Safety legislation
  • Try to encourage a reduced stressed environment
  • Monitor progress
  • Schedule regular meetings to ensure the employee coping
  • Allow time for GP and hospital appointments


  • There are currently over 2 million people with cancer in the UK
  • Each year 300,000 people are diagnosed with cancer
  • 560,000 people in the UK are in work today with cancer
  • By 2030, 1.1 million people in the UK will be working whilst fighting from cancer
  • Unfortunately, 63,000 people in the UK want to work whilst fighting cancer however are unable too due to lack of support from their employer
  • Every day 1000 people from the UK are diagnosed with cancer

BDHL can advise on all group risk insurances to cover both the employer and the employee if they were to be affected by cancer. BDHL can also help find a suitable EAP offering counselling and guidance for the employer and their family whilst fighting cancer. As well as group private medical insurance which allows the employee to access the best possible treatments and care.To find out more speak to a member of the team on 01892 891900, or email