Harrow Council became the first London borough to sign up to a new charter to provide protection to staff who become terminally ill. It will protect more than 5,800 staff employed by the council.
The signing, which will took place at Harrow Council on Tuesday 23 August and was attended by Michael Lockwood, Chief Executive, Cllr Sachin Shah, Pamela Belgrave Harrow GMB and Lee Barron from the TUC.
The Dying to Work Voluntary Charter is a TUC initiative which sets out how employers can support terminally ill workers following their diagnosis.
It is part of the TUC’s wider Dying to Work campaign which is seeking greater security for terminally ill workers through a ‘protected period’ where they cannot be dismissed as a result of their condition.
Dying to Work was set up by the TUC following the case of Jacci Woodcook, a 58-year-old sales manager from Derbyshire, who was forced out of her job after being diagnosed with terminal breast cancer.
The TUC is asking employers to sign up to its voluntary charter to stop cases like Jacci’s happening in the future.
Cllr Sachin Shah, Leader Harrow Council, said: “I am proud that Harrow is the first London borough to sign this charter to protect terminally ill employees. The last thing they need is additional stress and worry about their jobs on top of what is already a challenging time. We are committed to support terminally ill employees following diagnosis and will make sure they are given peace of mind and dignity.”
Pamela Belgrave, GMB Branch Secretary, said: “The GMB Harrow were moved by this campaign, and felt strongly that we wanted Harrow Council on board. We are extremely happy that Cllr Shah, agreed to take this forward, and feel privileged to be the first London Borough Council to support this campaign.”
Lee Barron, TUC, said: “Worrying about your job should be the least of your concerns when you receive a terminal diagnosis.
“Harrow Council are to be commended for signing up to the TUC Dying to Work Charter, working with unions to guarantee fair treatment for workers who find themselves in this position.
“The campaign is building momentum with employers committing to the Charter, extending protection and peace of mind to thousands of working people. We trust that more employers across London and indeed the UK will following the footsteps of Harrow Council and sign the Dying to Work Charter.”
To find out more visit www.dyingtowork.co.uk.