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Derbyshire police becomes latest employer to sign up to TUC's charter for helping terminally ill workers

Posted on 27th July 2017
Dying to Work Charter 1

Derbyshire police have today added its name to a charter aimed at helping employees who become terminally ill at work.

The service is the latest employer to sign up to the Dying to Work Voluntary Charter, following in the footsteps of employers such as E-On, Legal and General and the Co-op.

The charter is part of the TUC’s wider Dying to Workcampaign 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, a 59-year-old sales manager from Derbyshire, who was forced out of her job 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.

Deputy Chief Constable Gary Knighton said: “We are pleased to be able to sign up to this charter to support terminally ill workers. We want to ensure that our officers and staff don’t have the additional stress of losing their job as a result of illness and the charter allows us to offer that valuable peace of mind.

I’m proud that we are the first police force to sign the charter and I hope others will follow suit.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa said: “This issue was first brought to my attention about nine months ago and I immediately discussed it with the chief constable who agreed with me that it was an approach we should adopt.  I strongly believe that if someone is diagnosed with a terminal illness they should never have the added stress of worrying about losing their job.  By signing up to this charter we are saying to all our employees that if you ever find yourself in that situation we will support your right to work.  I am proud that Derbyshire is the first police force to sign this charter and I hope others will follow.”

Jacci Woodcock, patron of the Dying to Work campaign, said: I am both very proud and happy that the Derbyshire police have signed our Dying to Work Voluntary charter. 

After the awful experience I went through with my uncaring Company I feel very passionate about protecting all workers who may receive a terminal diagnosis. This campaign is vastly important and I am absolutely delighted with the positive support it is receiving across the UK. 

Thank you so much for valuing all who work for the Derbyshire police.”

Deborah Bowlzer,  Health and Safety Officer, UNISON Derbyshire police branch, said: "The UNISON health and safety team are pleased that Derbyshire Police have signed up to the Dying to Work Voluntary Charter.  The force already do a great deal to support its employees, this shows their continued commitment in supporting and protecting those diagnosed with a terminal illness.  It will provide employees with the security of work and peace of mind for themselves and their families helping them through this difficult period.

Adam Galley, General Secretary Derbyshire police Federation, said “In signing up to this Charter Derbyshire Constabulary and its staff associations are demonstrating our commitment to supporting any Police Officer or member of Staff within the Derbyshire family of policing should they be given a terminal diagnosis, treating them with the respect and dignity they deserve. At a time my members are at their most vulnerable this charter gives a real commitment to supporting them and their families”.

Lee Barron, Midlands TUC Regional Secretary,said: “We are delighted that Derbyshire Police have signed our Dying to Work Voluntary Charter.  Worrying about your job should be the least of your concerns when you receive a terminal diagnosis.

“The Dying to Work campaign isn’t a left – right issue, it’s a matter of right and wrong. We have received support from across the political spectrum and the support of many companies, large and small, public and private.  Thanks to this widespread support, the charter now provides protection to well over 350,000 workers across the UK. 

“The signing of the charter today by Derbyshire Police represents great civic leadership and we hope and expect more employers across Derbyshire, the East Midlands and, indeed, across the UK, to follow their lead and sign the charter in the coming months.”

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