Derbyshire County Council has announced it is signing up to a charter which aims to improve employment rights for working people after they are diagnosed with a terminal illness.
The Dying to Work Charter is part of a campaign being run by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), and by signing up, they will be joining other neighbouring authorities like Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire County Councils, local organisations including Derbyshire Police and Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust and large international companies including Eon and Santander.
Derbyshire County Council Leader Councillor Barry Lewis is supporting the campaign and strongly believes it is important for the DCC, as one of Derbyshire’s largest employers, to sign and support the charter.
Over half a million companies have already signed up to the voluntary charter in the UK.
Dying to Work was launched three years ago and at its heart is Derbyshire woman Jacci Woodcock, from Milford near Belper, who claims she was forced out of her job by her employer after being diagnosed with breast cancer for a second time in 2012.
Jacci became the face of the Dying to Work campaign and is fighting for a change in the law to protect employees with a terminal diagnosis.
The campaign is also backed by Mid Derbyshire MP Pauline Latham OBE, who raised the issue and Jacci’s case in Parliament last year, resulting in the then Prime Minister David Cameron promising the case would be looked at ‘very closely’.
Councillor Lewis met Mrs Latham and Ms Woodcock in July and made a commitment to support the campaign and the charter, with the Cabinet agreeing to the move at its meeting on Thursday (14 September 2017).
Councillor Lewis said: “We already take great pride in treating colleagues with terminal illnesses with respect and dignity, and work with them so they can make decisions which are right for them. This could be taking ill health retirement or continuing to work with our support.
“People in this position should not have the added stress of worrying about their job and by signing the Dying to Work Charter we are strengthening our commitment to support our employees if they are given a terminal diagnosis.”
Mrs Latham said: “I am delighted that Derbyshire County Council has agreed to sign the Dying to Work Charter to ensure that none of its employees experience the stress and lack of compassion that my constituent, Jacci Woodcock, endured by her employer. Jacci was feeling shell-shocked by her diagnosis and needed the support of her employer as well as the dignity of keeping her job so that she would continue to have an income to pay her bills for as long as possible.
“I am pleased that Derbyshire County Council is one of many compassionate employers that has agreed to support this charter.”
A date for the council to sign the charter will be set shortly.
If you would like your company to join the charter there are 5 steps.
- Check that your employer has not already signed up to the TUC Dying to Work charter
- Involve your union
- Encourage your employer to sign the voluntary charter
- Inform the TUC
- Sign the Charter
More details can be found here.