Changing the conversation about work and cancer

What does the Equality Act mean for Employers?

Line managers, as the statistics show*, often don’t realise that the Equality Act 2010 (Disability Discrimination Act 1995, Northern Ireland) covers cancer or understand what is meant by ‘reasonable adjustments’. So, for example, after six to eight weeks of a phased return, they typically expect an ‘employee’ recovering from cancer treatment to be ‘back to normal’ and assume that making any adjustments at this stage is somehow too late and not applicable, or now unreasonable from a management perspective. But it’s never too late to allow someone to work from home for a while or work flexibly or take an extra break. In fact any reasonable adjustment can be requested when required and should be properly considered by an employer.

Written for Macmillan Cancer Support, September 2015

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