Change the law for terminally ill workers

Change the law for terminally ill workers

Jacci Woodcock was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer in June 2012. Since then she has devoted her energy to campaigning for a change in the law to protect terminally ill employees

The Trades Union Congress backs the campaign and has drawn up a charter for employers.

Jacci, who received an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours in June 2019, said: “I feel strong and determined to use the time I have left to do my upmost to get the law changed to protect terminally ill people. People think the protection is there but I’m categorically saying it isn’t!

“I happily accept my fate, but I am not happy that other workers who don’t have my vision, tenacity and strength suffer at the hands of unscrupulous employers.

“My supportive family understand that I feel passionate that the present law is not protecting terminally ill employees and that I am determined that this must change.

“If this has not been achieved before my death, then my daughter, Jaime, will step in and take my place as my voice…”

If you would like your organisation to back the charter, follow these five steps:

  • Check if your employer has signed up to the TUC Dying to Work charter
  • Involve your union – Raise the campaign with your branch and ask your rep to raise the charter with your employer.
  • Encourage your employer to sign the voluntary charter – Unions should be clear about what they want from their employer. Just getting a vague commitment is not enough.
  • Inform the TUC – Once the employer and the recognised unions are happy that the commitments within the charter have been met, please inform the TUC of your intention to sign.
  • Sign the charter – The TUC will provide a customised copy of the charter for the public signing ceremony. It will also work with your internal communications department to co-ordinate press releases to generate media coverage in both the local and national press and broadcast media.