The unavoidable threat of cancer in the workplace
Thursday 4th February marks World Cancer Day (www.worldcancerday.org). In the UK alone, an estimated 90,000 people of working age will be diagnosed with cancer this year. International efforts continue into researching, finding a cure and ultimately eradicating the disease once and for all. But until then, the fact remains that one in three of us is likely to be affected by cancer at some point. For employers too, the threat of cancer is impossible to ignore.
When cancer affects an employee, either personally or their partner or family member, it has an unavoidable impact on business. It can result in reduced productivity, increased stress and prolonged periods of absence from work. The cost of cancer to an employer can be significant.
It’s widely recognised that early diagnosis is important in the effective treatment of cancer and so we’re seeing increasing numbers of employers now offering health screening to their workforce. It’s an efficient and positive way to help employees catch the disease while it’s still treatable. And ultimately, it could save lives.
Employers have a duty of care. Supporting staff with regular health screenings and implementing workplace initiatives to encourage healthy and active lifestyles should be considered as part of a wider business plan. Focusing on preventing and diagnosing cancer early on can have a positive impact on not only your workforce but your overall business.
So, as World Cancer day approaches, consider what you could be doing to keep your people happy and healthy at work.