Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service has added its name to a charter aimed at helping employees who become terminally ill at work.
The Service is the latest employer to sign up to the Dying to Work Voluntary Charter, following in the footsteps of other fire and rescue services in places such as Staffordshire and the West Midlands.
The Charter – which was signed on Wednesday, November 29 – is part of the TUC's wider Dying to Work campaign which is seeking greater security for terminally ill workers where they cannot be dismissed because of their condition.
Dying to Work was taken forward by the TUC following the case of Jacci Woodcook, an area sales manager from Derbyshire who was forced out of her job three years ago after being diagnosed with terminal breast cancer.
The TUC is asking employers to sign up to its voluntary charter to stop cases like Jacci's happening in the future.
TUC Midlands, Regional Secretary, Lee Barron, said: "Your job should be the least of your worries when you get a terminal diagnosis.
"I'm delighted that Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service has shown real leadership in this area, working with unions to guarantee fair treatment for terminally-ill workers.
"Over 570,000 workers are now covered by the Dying to Work charter across the country, and we expect more employers to commit in the coming months."
Tracy Crump, the Service's Head of People and Organisational Development, said: "Our people are our Service, and their health and wellbeing is massively important to us, so I'm really pleased that we have been able to sign this charter to set in stone our commitment to ensuring that any employee with a terminal illness has much needed security, stability and peace of mind.
"This actually comes at quite a poignant time for our Service, as we have recently lost one of our much-loved firefighters to a terminal illness, which really reinforces the importance of this charter."
Other employers to sign up to the charter include Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service – as well as Mansfield District Council, Gedling Borough Council, Nottingham City Homes, Nottinghamshire County Council and Central College Nottingham.
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 in fact be therapeutic.
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.