Fire service signs national charter to protect rights of terminally ill staff

29 January 2018
DCFO Harding, CFO Dovey, GC Conlon, FF Jones and the TUC's Lee Barron with the Dying to Work charter

​Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) has signed a national charter in support of a campaign to give greater security to terminally-ill workers.

The Dying to Work campaign was launched by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) following the case of Jacci Woodcook, a 59-year-old sales manager from Derbyshire, who was forced out of her job after being diagnosed with terminal breast cancer.

Chief Fire Officer Darren Dovey today (Monday, January 29) was joined by Lee Barron of the TUC and union representatives from within NFRS to sign the voluntary Dying to Work charter at Moulton Logistics Centre.

CFO Dovey said: “Treating staff with dignity and respect is at the centre of how we operate as an organisation and is embedded within our core values. That’s why we are committed to ensuring that staff with terminal illnesses are supported in the workplace on an individual basis, in order that they can continue to work and contribute to both the service and their families.”

Left to right: TUC representative Lee Barron, FBU rep, Firefighter Mark Jones, FLA rep, DCFO Harding and CFO Darren Dovey

Care and consideration for staff

Pledges within the charter include providing support to workers following a terminal diagnosis, and protecting death in service benefits for the loved ones they leave behind.

Lee Barron, TUC Midlands Regional Secretary, said: “Your job should be the least of your worries when you get a terminal diagnosis.

“I’m delighted that Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service has shown real leadership in this area, working with unions to guarantee fair treatment for terminally-ill workers.

“600,000 workers are now covered by the Dying to Work charter across the country, and we expect more employers to commit in the coming months.”

NFRS firefighter and chair of the Northamptonshire Fire Brigades Union, Mark Jones, added: “The signing of this charter shows that at a distressing time in an employee's life they will be treated with compassion and dignity, giving much needed stability and normality.”

Read the charter and further information about Dying to Work

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