Talking about cancer in the workplace
Tomorrow, Saturday 4th February, marks World Cancer Day. Cancer affects more than 700,000 people of working age and this number is continually growing.
Employees affected by the disease, either personally or a family member, can become emotionally vulnerable. It can result in reduced productivity, increased stress and prolonged periods of absence from work, which can negatively impact your business.
Employers play a vital role in tackling this issue. It would be beneficial if initiatives to help prevent and detect cancer among employees were incorporated to every company’s wellbeing programme. Early detection is a critical factor in surviving the disease. Support can be provided through add on benefits on insurance policies, Employee Assistance Programmes, Best Doctors and Cancer Care providers.
The good news is that many employers are now offering health screening to their workforce, as well as providing guidance on quitting smoking and the benefits of having a heath lifestyle. In fact, a research conducted in 2015 by Check4Cancer has highlighted that 63% of HR professionals were planning to introduce cancer awareness programmes and/or early detection programmes in their organisation. In addition, 95% said they were in favour of universal cancer checks provided by employers, with annual checking for all staff.
If you need help to manage cancer in the workplace, there are several charities who can provide information and resource. Maggie’s Centres can support both the patient and their families and Macmillan.
What else could you do in your organisation to keep your employees healthy and happy?