It might surprise some people to learn that a terminally ill employee can legally be dismissed in the UK. While the 2010 Equalities Act offers some protection, employers can still dismiss a terminally ill employee if they fail a capability assessment with ‘reasonable adjustments’.
The Trades Union Congress (TUC) is currently running a campaign to have terminal illness recognised as a 'protected characteristic’, which would grant employees a protected period where they couldn’t be dismissed as a result of their illness.Its petition has been supported by organisations such as E.on, the Royal College of Midwives and Unite the Union.
The Dying to Work campaign says the protection would give employees the peace of mind to know their employment and financial security were guaranteed.
But what do you need to know about your organisation's responsibilities under the existing legislation?