Employment

Cancer and treatment are bound to impact most areas of your life, and work is no exception. Wherever you’re at – about to start treatment, on treatment or have finished – this section should answer your questions about employment and your rights.

Telling your employer

You don't have to tell your work about your diagnosis but sharing what you're going through will allow them to support you properly. 

Find out more about telling your work, colleagues and their duty to support you.

Working during treatment

Having cancer doesn't necessarily mean you have to stop working. There may be periods of your treatment that you can work through.

If you do want to carry on working, here are some things to bear in mind. 

Getting support at work

Whether you're on or off treatment, your employer has a legal duty to support you with the effects of cancer and treatment.

There are lots of different ways they can help - here's what you could expect.

Taking time off

There may come a point where you need to pause work for a while if you need to stay in hospital or take time to focus on your recovery.

Here's how to get time off and what happens to your pay.

Claiming benefits if you stop working

If you stop working, you could get extra money from sick pay or benefits designed to help people who can't work.

Check out what financial support you're entitled to.

Protecting your pension 

Getting a pension might be the last thing on your mind at the moment but it's worth knowing what happens to them if you have to take time off. 

Here's what you need to know about pensions and insurance.

Returning to work

If you've had time off, you might feel anxious about going back to work. This is totally normal and understandable.

Read our guidance on the sorting out the practicalities of your return and dealing with colleagues. 

Treatment effects and work

The effects of treatment like fatigue may mean you need extra support to make it possible for you to get back into work. 

Find out what you need to consider and what to do if you can't carry on doing the same job. 

Your emotions at work

Feeling frustrated about breaks in your career or how difficult it is to carry on working is completely normal.

Make sure you're getting the help you need to deal with stress and feeling low.

Looking for work

Cancer doesn't have to be a barrier. Although gaps in your CV can make it tricky, it's not impossible.

Read our top ten tips when looking for work.

Telling potential employers

It's difficult to know how much you should share with a potential employer. There are certain things they shouldn't ask but it's important to get the help you need.

Here's how to strike that balance.

Reconsidering your career

It's not uncommon for people to change their minds about the direction they were heading in before their diagnosis.

If you're unsure about what to do now, here's four things to think about.

Discrimination at work

You should never have to put up with any form of discrimination. Sadly, some employers don't realise they're doing it. 

Make sure you know what discrimination at work looks like.

Updated January 2018, next review due 2019.

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