Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service (DFRS) has today added its name to a charter aimed at helping employees who become terminally ill at work. The Service is the latest employer to sign up to the Dying to Work Voluntary Charter, joining employers such as E-On, Royal Mail and the Coop.
The Charter means that the rights of workers who are facing a terminal illness are protected. The Charter is part of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) Dying to Work campaign which is seeking greater security for terminally ill workers where they cannot be dismissed as a result of their condition.
Dying to Work was taken forward by the TUC following the case of Jacci Woodcock, an area sales manager, 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.
Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service People and Organisational Development Area Manager, Judi Beresford said: “Our employees are our biggest asset in delivering an efficient and effective fire and rescue Service and it’s therefore important that we have the correct policies, procedures and health and wellbeing support in place to support them, specifically in times of crisis and ill health.
“By signing the Dying To Work Charter we are committing to supporting terminally ill workers. We want to ensure any of our workforce who become terminally ill, don’t have the additional stress of losing their job, as a result of their illness, and the charter allows us to offer that valuable peace of mind.”
Lee Barron, TUC Midlands, Regional Secretary, said, “Your job should be the least of your worries when you get a terminal diagnosis. I’m delighted that Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service have shown real leadership in this area, working with unions to guarantee fair treatment for terminally-ill workers. Over half a million workers are now covered by the Dying to Work charter across the country, and we expect more employers to commit in the coming months.”
Fire Brigades Union Secretary, Chris Tapp said, “In signing up to this Charter Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service is demonstrating its commitment to supporting any operational employee or member of support staff should they be given a terminal diagnosis, treating them with the respect and dignity they deserve. At a time when people are potentially at their most vulnerable, this charter gives a real commitment to supporting them and their families.”
Jacci Woodcock, Patron of the Dying to Work campaign, said: “I am very proud and happy that Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service have signed our Dying to Work Voluntary charter.
“After the awful experience I went through with my uncaring company I feel very passionate about protecting all workers who may receive a terminal diagnosis. This campaign is vastly important and I am absolutely delighted with the positive support it is receiving across the UK.
“Thank you so much for valuing all who work for Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service.”
Feature image left – right: DFRS CFO Terry McDermott, DFRS AM Judi Beresford, Jacci Woodcock, Rob Johnston, Fire Brigades Union Secretary Chris Tapp.