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Wirral Council commits to TUC’s Dying to Work Charter

Wirral Council is now signed up to a charter aimed at helping employees who become terminally ill at work.

The authority is the latest employer to sign up to the Dying to Work Voluntary Charter, following in the footsteps of employers such as Rolls Royce, Royal Mail and the Co-op.

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.

Dying to Work was taken forward by the TUC following the case of an area sales manager from Derbyshire, Jacci Woodcook, who was forced out of her job after being diagnosed with terminal breast cancer.

The TUC is asking employers to sign up to the voluntary charter to stop cases like Jacci’s happening in the future.

TUC North West, Acting Regional Secretary Jay McKenna, said: “Your job should be the least of your worries when you get a terminal diagnosis.

“I’m delighted that Wirral Council have shown real leadership in this area, working with unions to guarantee fair treatment for terminally-ill workers.

“We now have a million workers being covered by the Dying to Work charter across the country, and we expect more employers to commit in the coming months.”

Wirral Council cabinet member for finance and resources, Cllr Janette Williamson, said: “Ensuring our staff are treated well and fairly is really important. It doesn’t take a charter for us to treat our staff with dignity when they are in such difficult circumstances but by signing this I hope we can set a positive example for employers across the borough.”

David Jones, Unison branch secretary for Wirral Council, said: “This is a welcome step by the authority and will reassure members who, if the worst did happen, know they will be treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.”

Branch Convener for Unite the Union, Caroline Morgan, added: “I’m pleased to see Wirral Council step up and make this commitment to its employees. Being diagnosed with a terminal illness is devastating and anyone in that position is extremely vulnerable – it’s vital that their employer acts in the worker’s best interest and I hope other employers in Wirral will follow suit.”

 

- The TUC Dying to Work Voluntary Charter states:

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

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

From left: TUC North West, Acting Regional Secretary Jay McKenna, Wirral Council cabinet member for finance and resources Cllr Janette Williamson and Wirral Council chief executive Paul Satoor

A list of Charter signatories can be found here.

More information about the Dying to Work campaign can be found at www.dyingtowork.co.uk