Search wraps up series of nationwide Macmillan workshops

Search wraps up series of nationwide Macmillan workshops

An estimated 50 percent of the UK population will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their life. Currently in the UK there are:

  • 750,000 people of working age have been told they have cancer
  • Around 500,000 carers of people with cancer currently working
  • 82 percent of people think it’s important to continue to work after being diagnosed with cancer

However a recent study by Macmillan has reported that 47 percent of cancer patients had no choice but to give up work or change their roles as a result of their diagnosis.

18 percent of employees with a cancer diagnosis still faced discrimination in the workplace and 35 percent reported negative experiences such as a loss of confidence and feelings of guilt for taking time off for medical appointments.

For these reasons, we at Search, along with Macmillan and JMW Solicitors LLP, recently held a series of workshops throughout the country to educate employers and HR managers on how to compassionately manage diagnosed employees in both a practical and legal manner.

  Manchester attendees Search Consultancy's Managing Cancer event  Attendees listen during Search Consultancy's Managing Cancer event workshop

Search and JMW have donated £1 each towards Macmillan for every person who attended the workshops, of which there were 250 in total. Attendees were treated to a scrumptious breakfast and bottomless coffee to keep them tuned into essential information regarding how to best support employees who have been diagnosed with cancer.

The workshops covered a variety of topics including the benefits of an early diagnosis, the emotional and psychological implications of a cancer diagnosis, and different types of discrimination – including the rising trend of associative discrimination, whereby carers are discriminated against on the basis of them being associated with a cancer patient.

Macmillan shared touching video testimonials from employees who are currently being treated for, or are recovering from cancer, along with detailed advice for employers and HR representatives on how to compassionately interact with an employee who may be experiencing the emotional and psychological implications of a cancer diagnosis.

You can watch the video here

Sheffield workshop for Search Consultancy's Managing Cancer event Leeds attendees Search Consultancy's Managing Cancer event

There are over 200 different types of cancer, each with its own symptoms and implications; essentially 200 different diseases. In addition to this, where more people are beating cancer than ever before, almost 50 percent of cancer survivors are living with complications which employers need to be aware of.

JMW Solicitors LLP provided a comprehensive overview into the logistics of real-life discrimination claims raised by employees diagnosed with cancer. These examples included the high profile case involving former Newcastle player, Jonas Gutierrez, who was dropped by the team after being diagnosed with testicular cancer. The examples were then used to pin point areas in which employers failed to uphold equal treatment as required by the Equality Act, with key advice on what to bear in mind going forward.

Our events proved to be a great success, with many attendees noting how the informative talks had impacted them. Below are just some of many positive reactions we received:

“The subject matter was definitely of interest, with lots to learn and consider.”

“Really informative, with lots of knowledge taken from both a legal and practical perspective. Both Debbie Palmer (speaker for Macmillan) and Jennifer Smith (Speaker for JMW) were really helpful covering all aspects.”

In addition, attendees were invited to order an essential Macmillan Work and Cancer toolkit. Each kit contains a plethora of workplace training, guidance and resources for both employers and employees who may have recently received a cancer diagnosis. Order your free tool kit here.

Search Consultancy would like to thank each Macmillan volunteer who offered their valuable contributions to our workshop. Here they are their names in lights:

Keith Reilly

Brian J Wright

Debbie Palmer

Graham Burt

 If you didn’t have a chance to attend our events, you may want to have look at our blogs on the topic, providing a comprehensive overview of how to manage cancer in the workplace, as well as the concept of associative discrimination.

You can also click here to request a free download of the event.


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