Cancer and Work

It's likely your cancer treatment will result in you taking time off work. Whether you're employed or self-employed, it can be hard to know what questions to ask and who to talk to when it comes to managing your work and cancer treatment.

Although by law you do not have to tell your employer that you have cancer, it makes sense to disclose your illness so you can immediately start to get the support you need from them. If you do decide to let your employer know, you can ask them to keep the information confidential from your work colleagues if you wish. This way, it can just be between you and your line manager.

Working with your employer

Hopefully by working with your employer, or human resources manager, adjustments can be made to accommodate your needs. These could include flexible working hours, time off work or keeping your job open for your return from treatment.

If these adjustments aren't made, the Equality Act in England, Scotland, Wales and equality legislation in Northern Ireland supports you. They state by law that reasonable adjustments must be made.

For help negotiating adjustments you can contact the Equality Advisory Support Service or the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland.

If you have a CLIC Sargent care professional, they may be able to support you with this.

For further information please read the sections on telling work, preparing for time off, work adjustments, work-related benefits, discrimination and the potential physical and emotional impacts of cancer on your work.

Content reviewed November 2013, next planned review 2014.