GUEST COLUMN: Support for Dying to Work charter, by Coun Sonya Ward

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Last month I presented a motion to Council in which Labour Councillors proposed that Mansfield District Council should sign up to the Dying to Work Charter.

This is a TUC initiative which aims to ensure that people are supported properly in the workplace after receiving the devastating news that they have a terminal illness.

Hopefully, most employers are supportive of staff who are going through such a difficult time, but sadly, this has not always been the case, and indeed in some workplaces terminally ill workers have found that they have lost their jobs, or faced additional stress from their treatment in the workplace.

Councillor Joyce Bosnjak seconded the motion, and she said: “Nottinghamshire County Council signed up to the Charter recently, and it’s great that Mansfield District Council staff are being promised the same support if they find themselves dealing with a terminal illness. Our workforce matters, and they must be sure they will be supported when facing something as difficult as a this.”

This campaign has received cross party support in Parliament, and thankfully, the same happened at Mansfield District Council – district councillors from all parties supported this unanimously, and I would like to extend my thanks to them for that.

Lee Barron, Midlands TUC Regional Secretary said: “This campaign is not a left or right issue, it is a matter of right and wrong. Worrying about your job should be the least of your concerns when you receive a terminal diagnosis.

“It is fantastic that Mansfield District Council have agreed to sign up to the TUC Dying to Work Charter, working with unions to guarantee fair treatment for workers who find themselves in this position. We trust that more employers across Nottinghamshire, the Midlands and indeed the UK will sign up to the Dying to Work Charter.”

More information can be found at www.dyingtowork.co.uk

I would also like to pay respects on behalf of the Labour Group to the late Councillor Peter Crawford, of Warsop Carrs, a tireless and determined community champion, who worked so hard on behalf of people he represented at both parish and district council level. He will be missed.