Figures suggest that over 100,000 people who are of working age are diagnosed with cancer annually. Along with this, more than 700,000 people are continuing to work after being diagnosed with cancer.
However, after completing treatment, employees might choose to return to work and that means that employers have to consider a number of things in order to make their return as stress-free and as simple as possible.
Return To Work Plan
A work plan should be devised that accommodates the position of the individual. The plan will focus on the short term and long term adjustments in order to support them daily. Therefore, they should be given regular reviews so adjustments can be made if necessary so that the right support is there. What’s more, employees should be encouraged to speak about what they need in order to help them settle back into working life.
There are many adjustments that can be made and these could include:
- Phased return to work
- Reduced working hours where they begin as a part-time position before coming back full-time
- Flexible working around their medical appointments and needs
- Making adjustment tot heir role and responsibilities
- Additional rest time
- Easy access to the building and facilities if a wheelchair or crutches are required.
One of the most daunting aspects when returning to work is social interactions with others. Cancer is a distressing and worrying illness that they might not be ready to talk about. Therefore, managers should inform colleagues how the individual wants to address this issue and whether they want to discuss or try to act as normal as possible.
Open Door Policy
When employees return to work, they will experience a range of emotions. What’s more, they also won’t be aware of how they are going to feel until they are back in work. Cancer is a sensitive and personal issue and it can affect people both physically and mentally. Therefore, employers should encourage employees to talk about how they are feeling and discuss any problems they are facing.