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Greater Manchester signs up to TUC's charter for helping terminally ill workers


The GMCA and the city-region’s 10 local councils have become the latest employers to sign up to a TUC charter aimed at helping employees who become terminally ill at work.

The Dying to Work Voluntary Charter is a TUC initiative which sets out how employers can support terminally ill workers following their diagnosis.

It is part of the TUC’s wider Dying to Work campaign which is seeking greater security for terminally ill workers through a ‘protected period’ where they cannot be dismissed as a result of their condition.

The voluntary Charter has already been signed by a number of other organisations including the Co-operative Group, meaning that just under one million workers across the UK are now covered by the Charter. 

Dying to Work was set up by the TUC following the case of Jacci Woodcook, a 58-year-old sales manager from Derbyshire, who was forced out of her job after being diagnosed with terminal breast cancer.

In the absence of legislative protection, the TUC is asking employers to sign up to its voluntary charter to stop cases like Jacci’s happening in the future.

Eamonn Boylan, Chief Executive of the GMCA, said: “The Combined Authority works with all 10 Greater Manchester councils alongside local services, businesses, communities and other partners to improve the city-region.

“Our vision is to make Greater Manchester one of the best places in the world to grow up, get on and grow old, and that includes providing our employees with the highest standards of workplace and emotional support. If a member of our staff receives the worst possible news it is important that they understand that the GMCA is a signatory of the Dying to Work Voluntary Charter and we will stand alongside them every step of their journey.”

The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, added: “The Combined Authority is a family – we look out for each other, we support each other and we will be there for each other even if the worst happens.

“The Dying to Work Voluntary Charter is an important document but, more importantly, our backing for it emphasises that our promise of support for our colleagues isn’t just lip service – we will be there if needed.”

Lynn Collins, TUC North West Regional Secretary said: “Worrying about your job should be the least of your concerns when you receive a terminal diagnosis.

“Greater Manchester Combined Authority should be commended for signing up to the TUC Dying to Work Charter, working with unions to guarantee fair treatment for workers who find themselves in this position. Signing the Charter has provided peace of mind to tens of thousands of workers across Greater Manchester. We will be working to ensure that more employers across the North West, and indeed the UK, follow their lead and sign the Dying to Work Charter.”

The TUC Dying to Work Voluntary Charter states the following:

  1. We recognise that terminal illness requires support and understanding and not additional and avoidable stress and worry.
  2. Terminally ill workers will be secure in the knowledge that we will support them following their diagnosis and we recognise that safe and reasonable work can help maintain dignity, offer a valuable distraction and can be therapeutic in itself.
  3. We will provide our employees with the security of work, peace of mind and the right to choose the best course of action for themselves and their families which helps them through this challenging period with dignity and without undue financial loss.
  4. We support the TUC’s Dying to Work campaign so that all employees battling terminal illness have adequate employment protection and have their death in service benefits protected for the loved ones they leave behind.

More information about the Dying to Work campaign can be found at

Article Published: 14/12/2018 14:06 PM