Durham County Council has signed the Dying to Work charter as part of the TUC’s campaign for greater employment security for terminally ill workers.
The council pledged its commitment to staff health and wellbeing, as Council Leader, Cllr Simon Henig; Deputy Leader, Cllr Allan Napier; Cabinet member for social inclusion and HR, Cllr Jane Brown; and Chief Executive, Terry Collins, signed the charter, at the council’s County Hall headquarters. Union representatives Beth Farhat, TUC Northern Regional Secretary; David Clegg from GMB; Ian Pritchard from Unison and Mike Routledge from Unite also signed the charter.
The Dying to Work campaign calls for terminal conditions to be made a ‘protected characteristic’, ensuring that employees battling terminal conditions will be supported, protected and guided throughout their employment, following a terminal diagnosis.
In signing the charter, Durham County Council has confirmed that it recognises that safe and reasonable work can help maintain dignity. It has also promised to provide employees with peace of mind and the right to choose the best course of action for themselves without undue financial loss, and has confirmed that it will protect death in service benefits for employees’ loved ones.
Cllr Simon Henig, Leader of Durham County Council, said “I’m delighted to be signing the Dying to Work Charter on behalf of Durham County Council. Receiving a diagnosis of a terminal illness is already a time of huge emotional stress, fear and uncertainty and we don’t want our employees to be worrying about their jobs on top of that. We’re pledging to try to remove any avoidable stress and support employees to continue to work if they wish to do so.”
More information about the national Dying to Work campaign is available at www.dyingtowork.co.uk