Working With Cancer – What Are Your Rights?

According to the law, a person who has cancer is classified as disabled and all the laws that apply to disabled employees in the workplace will then apply to them. Therefore, employers need to treat an employee with cancer in the same way that they would treat every other employee in the workplace. If they do not do this, it is discrimination.

Discrimination can be direct, arising from a disability or indirect. The laws against discrimination also apply to all aspects of employment from the recruitment process and ensuring that the disabled employee receives the same benefits and employment terms and conditions as every other employee. Being overlooked for promotions or other opportunities in the workplace due to a disability is also considered to be discrimination.

While an employer can inquire as to the health of a potential candidate for employment or an existing employee, they may only do so on a limited basis. An employee or potential employee is not required to disclose the status of their health. An employer cannot make decisions regarding employment based on any health issues that have been disclosed or the lack of disclosure of a health condition.

However, non-disclosure of a cancer diagnosis, if you are receiving treatment that may affect your ability to perform your duties, is not recommended. An employer cannot terminate your employment due to the effects of cancer or cancer treatment and may be required to make allowances by reducing work hours, providing time off for treatments or ensuring a lighter workload.

While an employer is required to make accommodations for your cancer and cancer treatments, they are only required to do so on a reasonable basis. In other words, if you are no longer able to fulfil any of your duties at work or take extended leave, they may be legally allowed to terminate your employment so be sure to seek employment law advice. The terms of termination are provided for in the Disability Discrimination Act, of 1995.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as formal legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article. Specific legal advice should be sort tailored to the individual circumstances in all cases.

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    We can be contacted 24 hours a day.
    Our Reading Head Office address is:

    Davidson House
    Forbury Square
    RG1 3EU
    0118 914 5622
    07850 952245