Whislt the CWU is currently in a battle with its Union Safety Reps over the Re-Design policy papers which totally ignore the whole of the Health and Safety community within the Union and plan to abolish the very department that is under funded and yet manages to 'punch well above it's weight', here we remind our readers and CWU HQ of just one example of the great work done by the department:
Royal Mail has become the largest UK employer by far to have thrown its weight behind a TUC initiative that aims to ensure that terminally ill workers are treated with dignity and given the support they need to continue in the workplace for as long as they wish.
CWU national health, safety and environment officer Dave Joyce, who was instrumental in securing the company’s agreement to embrace the voluntary protocols contained in the TUC’s Dying to Work charter, has described the breakthrough as “a proud day for the union”.
Joining Royal Mail Group’s director of safety, health, wellbeing and sustainability, Shaun Davis, TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady and a representative of the Unite union at a special signing ceremony that took place at the TUC’s Congress House headquarters in central London yesterday morning (30th August 2017).
“This charter ensures that those workers facing a terminal illness diagnosis are not denied the choice of continuing work or how to spend their final months or years.”
Frances O’Grady added:
“Your job should be the least of your worries when you get a terminal diagnosis. Over half a million workers are now covered by the Dying to Work charter, and we expect more employers to commit in the coming months.”
The Dying to Work charter stipulates how employers should support terminally ill workers following their diagnosis and is part of the TUC’s wider Dying to Work campaign, which is seeking a change in the law to ensure that such individuals cannot be dismissed as a result of their condition.
That campaign was launched following outrage at the appalling actions of an employer (which cannot be named for legal reasons) which connived to force a loyal and longstanding 59-year-old employee out of her cherished job as a sales manager after she revealed she had terminal breast cancer.
The CWU threw its weight behind the Dying to Work campaign in 2015 when the Annual Conference delegates unanimously agreed terminally ill workers need greater protection from heartless employers who are using a loophole in the law to dismiss the dying due to their illness.
The loophole stems from the fact that the terminally ill are not classified as having a ‘protected characteristic’ as defined by the Equality Act – meaning that unscrupulous employers are technically free to dismiss terminally ill workers once they have ostensibly made ‘reasonable adjustments’ to the employees job to assist with their illness.
Last October, Santander became the first major employer of CWU members to sign the TUC’s Dying to Work charter. Royal Mail’s decision to follow suit means that more than 50 employers – including the Co-Op, Legal & General, various universities and local authorities and energy giant Eon – are now signatories.
Dave Joyce concludes: “I hope what we have achieved with Royal Mail Group will set an example for other big employers to follow.”
The TUC Dying to Work Voluntary Charter states:
1. We recognise that terminal illness requires support and understanding and not additional and avoidable stress and worry.
2. Terminally ill workers will be secure in the knowledge that we will support them following their diagnosis and we recognise that safe and reasonable work can help maintain dignity, offer a valuable distraction and can be therapeutic in itself.
3. We will provide our employees with the security of work, peace of mind and the right to choose the best course of action for themselves and their families which helps them through this challenging period with dignity and without undue financial loss.
4. We support the TUC’s Dying to Work campaign so that all employees battling terminal illness have adequate employment protection and have their death in service benefits protected for the loved ones they leave behind.
More information about the Dying to Work campaign can be found at www.dyingtowork.co.uk
Source: unionsafety / Midlands TUC