Local charity Treetops Hospice Care is the latest employer to sign up to the TUC’s Dying to Work Voluntary Charter and is encouraging other local businesses and charities to follow suit.

The signing took place on Wednesday 7 February at the hospice, which provides nursing care and emotional support for adults across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

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

Dying to Work was taken forward by the TUC following the case of Jacci Woodcook, an area sales manager from Derbyshire, who was forced out of her job three years ago after being diagnosed with terminal breast cancer.

The TUC is asking employers to sign up to its voluntary charter to stop cases like Jacci’s happening in the future.

It is vital that we value our employees all of the time and not just while they are at work

George Cameron, Treetops Chief Executive said:

“Working within an organisation that deals with terminal illness every day, I am delighted to sign this charter and as part of our Compassionate Communities work would encourage all employers to do so.

We will be there for our staff

“It is vital that we value our employees all of the time and not just while they are at work. Being diagnosed with a terminal illness is devastating not only to the affected individual but also the wider family and friends. It is at times like this that they need the support of their employer more than ever. We will be there for our staff.”

Your job should be the least of your worries when you get a terminal diagnosis

TUC Midlands, Regional Secretary, Lee Barron, added:

“Your job should be the least of your worries when you get a terminal diagnosis.

“I’m delighted that Treetops Hospice Care have shown real leadership in this area, working with unions to guarantee fair treatment for terminally-ill workers.

“600,000 workers are now covered by the Dying to Work charter across the country, and we expect more employers to commit in the coming months.”

Signing the Dying to Work Charter is just one part of a wider ‘Compassionate Communities’ project which Treetops is leading in Erewash and South Derbyshire. The project, funded by Derby County Council, aims to normalise death and dying and help people make more informed choices at the end of life.

Since its launch in April 2016, the Dying to Work Voluntary Charter now protects over half a million employees with companies such as Rolls Royce, Royal Mail and E.On signing up, along with a number of public sector bodies including NHS trusts and local authorities.

Treetops Hospice Care services include Support and Information, a Day Care Unit, Hospice at Home nurses and Therapeutic Services including counselling, art therapy and complementary therapy.