Four in five (87%) line managers are not given any training on how to support people with long-term conditions including cancer, according to new research by Macmillan Cancer Support.
A YouGov survey of 1010 line managers also revealed a misconception; a quarter (26%) thought making reasonable adjustments to allow someone with cancer to keep working would be difficult. However, more than two thirds (69%) of those who had had to make reasonable adjustments said it was easy to do.
Approximately one in three people living with cancer in the UK are of working age. With improvements in survival rates and more people working for longer and retiring later, employers need to be able to support the growing numbers of people with the illness in the workplace, predicted to reach 1.7 million by 2030.
Liz Egan, Working Through Cancer Programme Lead at Macmillan says: “It’s vital that managers feel comfortable talking about cancer with employees who are undergoing, or have been through, treatment. And they need to listen to and understand what the employee’s needs are including individual adjustments that could enable them to stay in or return to work.
“Supporting staff the right way has business benefits. Not only to fulfil legal obligations, but also in retaining knowledgeable staff and saving on the costs of recruitment and training. It fosters loyalty, and drives a positive company image to customers and potential employees. Macmillan offers free training and advice to help make this as easy and rewarding as possible.”
Employers can access information, support and training on managing someone with cancer by visiting macmillan.org.uk/work and signing up to Macmillan At Work.
Read our top tips for dealing with a serious illness at work here.