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Police force acts to protect workers with terminal illness

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(L to R) David Stokes – Chair Leicester Police Federation; Lee Barron – Regional Secretary, TUC; PCC Lord Willy Bach; Chief Constable Simon Cole; Sara-Jane Coxon (bending down) - Leicestershire Police; Colinette Heath – Leicestershire Police; Colin Whyatt

Leicestershire Police has signed up to the TUC’s Dying to Work Charter.  The move, which was initiated by the Police and Crime Commissioner, Lord Willy Bach, and endorsed by Chief Constable, Simon Cole, pledges the force to support officers and staff diagnosed with a terminal illness.

The voluntary charter is part of the TUC’s wider Dying to Work campaign. It seeks greater security for terminally ill workers through a ‘protected period’ where they cannot be dismissed as a result of their condition. The campaign was launched following the case of Jacci Woodcook, a sales manager in Derbyshire who was forced out of her job after being diagnosed with terminal breast cancer.

Willy Bach and Simon Cole were joined by the Midlands TUC Regional Secretary, Lee Barron, at a signing ceremony at Leicestershire Police HQ with representatives of Unison, the GMB trade Union and the Police Federation in attendance.

Simon Cole said: “It is compassionate to support colleagues through a terminal illness and the role the force plays is a responsibility we take incredibly seriously. I fully support the initiative and signing the pledge is our way of publicly committing to supporting employees and officers diagnosed with a terminal illness.”

Willy Bach said: “A terminal diagnosis is a devastating blow. Peace of mind around job and financial security brings huge comfort to employees and officers and their families. I am proud to work alongside a police force that shows such consideration and support for its workforce.”

Lee Barron said: “We are really pleased that the Leicestershire Police have agreed to sign the charter with the support of the Police and Crime Commissioner and local union branches to protect the employment rights of staff with a terminal illness. We want to ensure that employees living under such difficult circumstances, have the freedom of choice on how they want to spend their final months, including remaining in employment, if they so wish.”

The TUC Dying to Work voluntary charter states:

  • We recognise that terminal illness requires support and understanding and not additional and avoidable stress and worry.

  • Terminally ill workers will be secure in the knowledge that we will support them following their diagnosis and we recognise that safe and reasonable work can help maintain dignity, offer a valuable distraction and can be therapeutic in itself.

  • We will provide our employees with the security of work, peace of mind and the right to choose the best course of action for themselves and their families, which helps them through this challenging period with dignity and without undue financial loss.

  • We support the TUC’s Dying to Work campaign so that all employees battling terminal illness have adequate employment protection and have their death in service benefits protected for the loved ones they leave behind.

Leicestershire Police has produced new guidance to support line managers and heads of departments where team members have been diagnosed with a terminal illness.

ENDS

Editors notes:

For more information on the TUC’s Dying to Work Campaign see https://www.dyingtowork.co.uk/

(L to R) David Stokes – Chair Leicester Police Federation; Lee Barron – Regional Secretary, TUC; PCC Lord Willy Bach; Chief Constable Simon Cole; Sara-Jane Coxon (bending down) - Leicestershire Police; Colinette Heath – Leicestershire Police; Colin Whyatt – GMB Organiser, GMB at the signing of the TUC Dying to Work Charter at Leicestershire Police HQ.

Posted on Thursday 6th December 2018
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