Trust becomes latest employer to sign up to Dying to Work Charter

Published on: 13th October 2017

The Lincolnshire mental health and learning disability trust last week added its name to a charter which guarantees rights for workers facing a terminal diagnosis.

Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT) is the first NHS organisation in Lincolnshire to sign the Dying to Work voluntary charter and it joins other employers including E.ON, Royal Mail, Legal and General, the Co-op, universities, local authorities and various public bodies.

The Charter is part of the TUC’s wider Dying to Work campaign which is seeking greater security for terminally ill workers where they cannot be dismissed as a result of their condition.

The campaign began following the case of Jacci Woodcook, a 59-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.

Lee Barron, TUC Regional Secretary, said:

Your job should be the least of your worries when you get a terminal diagnosis.

The Trust has 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, and we expect more employers to commit in the coming months.

Paul Devlin, Chair, Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said:

It is important for us as an inclusive employer to ensure that we are representing each and every one of our employees - including those with a terminal illness.

We want our staff to know that they can rely on the Trust to support them to remain in work if they wish to. This is why we are incredibly proud to be signing the Dying to Work voluntary charter and pledge to continue to help raise awareness of the campaign.

We have always been supportive of our employees with terminal illness, so it was an obvious decision for us to commit to the charter, because it’s absolutely the right thing to do.

Dawn Lovatt, GMB Representative and Nursing Assistant who brought the idea of supporting the charter to LPFT said:

A terminal diagnosis can be traumatic and stressful, and this commitment from LPFT ensures that there are no additional worries for affected staff members.

I am extremely pleased that LPFT joined a growing group of employers who signed up to the charter, especially as the charter is a result of a campaign originated by Jacci, who is a GMB member. The important thing about Dying to Work is that it affects everybody and it’s an inclusive campaign. I would like the charter to keep growing and hopefully becoming legislation one day.

Richard Holmes, Staff Side Lead, Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said:

It is our duty to ensure that employees with a terminal illness cannot be dismissed as a result of their condition, and allow them their dignity and freedom to choose how to spend the rest of their lives.
Many individuals with a terminal diagnosis will want to continue working; whether this is for financial security, because it’s a distraction from their illness, or just because it’s what they enjoy doing – they should be able to make that decision and be supported by their employer.