Greater Employer Awareness Needed Say Cancer Survivors

In Business, In The Press by PCH Staff

Being diagnosed with cancer is a life-changing and devastating event, which many people struggle to come to terms with. Furthermore, taking time away from work to undergo crucial treatment is something that cancer patients have to accept.

However, once their treatment finishes and the individual is well enough to consider a return to work this is the time when they need support from their employer.

According to a recent study, many cancer patients said that they felt pressured to return to work and some even questioned whether they were still fit to do the job they were doing before they fell ill.

Interestingly, even though 22 percent of the 205 adults surveyed said they felt pressured to return to work, only six percent said that that pressure was coming from their employer or colleagues. Therefore, one can only assume that the individual is putting pressure on themselves which can cause this unnecessary distress.

This is a theory that is supported by another of the study’s findings, which sees financial necessity being cited by more than half of the respondents (52 percent) as one of the reasons why they felt it was necessary to return to work.

‘Emotionally Drained’

Compare this to the 30 percent who said that they thought returning to work would aid their recovery and you can see that financial obligations are a definitive factor. More worryingly, however, is that a quarter of those surveyed said they felt “emotionally drained” following their cancer treatment. Therefore, there looks to be an increasing risk of people returning to work due to financial necessity, even though they might not be fully ready to do so. This is why employers need to be doing more to ensure that they are more aware about the ongoing effects of cancer following treatment. Around a third (33 percent) of people said that they would find it helpful if their employer had greater awareness of cancer post-treatment.

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A Very Challenging Time

“Once cancer treatment has finished it can be a very challenging time for people. Everyone reacts differently and patients tell us that their feelings range from being grateful for their recovery to isolation and exhaustion. Of course, the decision to return to work is a very personal one but we find that most are keen to get back to the life they had before diagnosis”, said Jayne Molyneux, Bupa cancer healthcare manager.

Employee absence is a risk to all businesses. It can disrupt the workflow as well as be a drain on resources, both financially and on other members of the team. Providing Income Protection for your employees can help soften the strain on the business’s cash flow whilst also offering an employee a safe and controlled route back to work without all of the financial worries associated with long term absence.

As we’ve seen, there are various reasons why people go back to work, but more than half said it was financially necessary. Premier Choice can help you be seen as a caring employer, while also helping you to protect your business at the same time.


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