Cancer patients feel harassed by bosses, according to charity survey


A rising number of cancer patients feel discriminated against when they return to work after treatment, according to Macmillan Cancer Support.

The charity said that almost two in five patients (37 per cent) who go back to work after being treated for cancer say they experience some kind of discrimination from their employer or colleagues compared to 23 per cent in 2010. A survey of 168 patients found that 9 per cent felt so harassed by their employer they felt they could not stay in their job, and 8 per cent said they felt “abused” by bosses or colleagues. Patients also reported being denied time off for medical appointments and being passed over for promotion.

“Employers are risking prosecution by flouting their legal responsibility to protect people living with cancer from unfair treatment and stigma at work,” said Ciaran Devane, chief executive at the charity. “There needs to be far more understanding of how the effects of treatment may impact on those returning to work.”

 A 46-year-old man from London said: “When I told my employer that I’d been diagnosed with cancer and asked to have time off for treatment, I was given the sack.