Work Foundation calls on government to help staff with cancer

The government should do more to support people with long-term conditions, such as cancer, in returning to work, according to the Work Foundation.

Its Returning to work: Cancer survivors and the health and work assessment and advisory service report paper has been written in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support.

The organisations have called on the government to take responsibility for improving the availability of, and access to, specialist vocational rehabilitation services for people with complex health problems.

Dr Tyna Taskila, lead author of the paper and senior researcher at The Work Foundation, said: “Some clinicians do not view employment as a priority, yet we know that work is beneficial to people recovering from long-term conditions like cancer. This is especially important [because] more cancers are now manageable.

“Often the consequences of cancer treatment include long-termf atigue and depression, so require employers to make adjustments in the workplace.

“Our research shows that 75% of employers in the UK have no formal training for managing employees diagnosed with cancer. If the vocational rehabilitation services were designed alongside the Health and Work Assessment Advisory Services, we are likely to see more people in recovery return to normal working lives.”