Did you know that around 900,000 people of working age are living with cancer? This number is expected to increase to 1,150,00 by 2030. To employers, this might come as a surprise, especially since many cancer patients and survivors remain active at work before, during, and after cancer treatment. Employers can — and should be — prepared to help employees with cancer throughout the entire journey from diagnosis to recovery.
More people are living with a chronic condition than ever before
Approximately 1 in 3 people worldwide suffer from multiple chronic conditions. Being diagnosed with a chronic disease is a life-altering event, but it doesn’t have to be the end of a person’s career. Continuing to work whilst having cancer is of course dependent on the severity of each person’s condition. For many, working, allows them to access help and support from employers whilst maintaining personal independence.
Strategies that support employees with cancer
To help those who continue to work, it’s critical that employers offer support to employees during this extremely difficult time. Aside from providing an employee wellbeing programme that promotes preventive measures like health assessments and healthy lifestyle changes , employers should offer and assist in:
- Flexible work schedules to accommodate regular appointments
- Providing a leave of absence that guarantees the option to return to work
- Guidance for sharing the news with colleagues
Currently, employers still have some work to do to ensure employees with cancer or other chronic conditions are truly supported in the workplace. According to an , respondents felt that their companies still needed to improve in the following areas: