Changing the conversation about work and cancer


Blogs and articles written for various organisations about managing work and cancer. We have organised these according to whether you are: someone who has/has had cancer; an HR professional or a policy maker about managing cancer in the workplace; a line manager; a carer, colleague or supporter of someone with cancer. Choose from the options below:

Or, click here to view a full list of articles.

Working Carers- The Lost Tribe?

Posted: 6th June 2016

I remember it distinctly. It was just another rather mundane day at the office when I left a meeting to take an urgent phone call. One of our employees had recently become a dad but now – just a few weeks later – a routine blood test had revealed that his wife had acute myeloid… [Read More]

An MP’s experience and advice about working with cancer: Jo Churchill

Posted: 26th April 2016

“It’s really important employers understand that when they are dealing with somebody they are dealing with the person, not the cancer” Jo Churchill talks about her two experiences of cancer, how she dealt with it and what she learned about herself, about other people, about work and about life. Read full article here (PDF) Jo… [Read More]

Managing someone coping with the long term side effects of cancer

Posted: 15th March 2016

If you read my last blog you’ll recall that I wrote, ‘returning to work is not a sprint, it’s more like a marathon and sometimes there needs to be pauses along the way to draw breath. It’s not a seamless progression but a long and winding road’. In most cases this is a journey which… [Read More]

Why is managing cancer at work different? Because it’s cancer.

Posted: 1st March 2016

Part of the work we do at Working With Cancer is to support the line managers of those with cancer. Managing the return to work process of a person with cancer can be like walking a tightrope. You want to do the right thing, to show compassion in what are incredibly difficult circumstances. But you’re… [Read More]

The stories the newspapers don’t cover

Posted: 4th December 2015

I’m sure you will have noticed how many stories there are in the press these days about cancer. Sometimes they are about celebrities and sometimes they are about ordinary people who are coping with, living beyond and dealing with varying cancer diagnoses. These are always inspiring stories of human resilience and emotional strength in the… [Read More]

There’s no such thing as the ‘usual’ approach to cancer

Posted: 23rd October 2015

Since I started working with Macmillan and the team at Working With Cancer, I’ve learned many things about the condition. But when I’m helping organisations to support employees with, or caring for those with, cancer – there are just two that I want them to remember: Every cancer is different for every person Most people have… [Read More]

What does the Equality Act mean for Employers?

Posted: 7th September 2015

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… [Read More]

A conversation with Barbara Wilson

Posted: 7th July 2015

It has been a challenging year for Halsey Keetch, and yet we have been lucky enough to find ourselves in touch with, and supported by, some extraordinary people over the past few months. Having been affected deeply recently, both personally and professionally, by the impact of serious illness, I was drawn to the work and… [Read More]

Working with Cancer – Challenges for Employees and Employers

Posted: 2nd July 2015

We all know that the incidence of cancer is increasing. There are currently 2.5 million people living with cancer and by 2030 it is estimated that there will be 4 million people living with cancer. There are currently 750,000 people of working age with cancer and this number is also likely to double over the next… [Read More]

Preparing line managers to talk with staff affected by cancer

Posted: 11th June 2015

For many managers, probably the most difficult aspect of managing employees diagnosed with cancer is having that first conversation – of dealing with the news and offering support. It is a critical moment because how a line manager reacts to the news, at first and then afterwards, has been shown to have a significant impact… [Read More]

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