NHS targeted by TUC to back campaign to protect terminally ill workers

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) campaign to protect terminally ill workers in the UK, has now taken to the road, starting in Brighton and visiting various NHS hospitals.

The campaign called the ‘Dying to Work campaign’ will begin its national roadshow at the TUC congress in Brighton and its final stop will be the Labour Party Conference, which will also take place in Brighton.

The idea behind the campaign is to give greater security for terminally ill workers, to ensure they cannot be let go as a result of their condition. A number of NHS employers have already lent their support to the campaign, but the TUC is hoping its entire 1.4 million staff will back the campaign.

The campaign was inspired by the case of Jacci Woodcook, an area sales manager from Derbyshire who was forced out of her job after being diagnosed with terminal breast cancer.

The TUC is calling on employers to sign up to its voluntary charter to stop cases like Ms Woodcooks from happening.

The campaign is already supported by Rolls Royce, Royal Mail and Lloyds.

Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary said:

Your job should be the least of your worries when you get a terminal diagnosis.

We are delighted that we have over a million workers covered by the TUC Dying to Work Charter and the support of the NHS Social Partnership Forum means we hope to be able to add the entirety of the NHS workforce to this total over the coming months.

That’s why we are taking this tour around the country. Our NHS is there for us when we need it, and thanks to NHS employers and unions working together, we are proud that that NHS will be there for its workforce at all times.

This follows the news that yesterday (10th September) at TUC Congress, Jeremy Corbyn, Labour leader announced he plans to create a Ministry for Employment Rights and Workers’ Protection Agency.

The proposals for individual employment rights include:

  • fixing the problem of different categories of workers with different rights by creating a single status of ‘worker’ for everyone apart from those genuinely self-employed
  • ending the “Swedish derogation” which permits employers to pay agency workers less than regular staff for the same work
  • the introduction of a civil enforcement system to ensure compliance with gender pay auditing
  • giving all workers the right to seek flexible working, and placing a duty on the employer to accommodate the request
  • a statutory Real Living Wage of £10 per hour by 2020 for all workers aged 16 or over
  • banning unpaid internships
  • banning zero hours contracts by requiring employers to give all workers a contract that accurately reflects their fixed and regular hours


Mr Corbyn said by establishing the new ministry and agency he wishes to “put power in the hands of workers” not the “born-to-rule establishment”.

Interested in wellbeing in the workplace We recommend the Workplace Wellbeing and Stress Forum 2019.






Darius is the editor of HRreview. He has previously worked as a finance reporter for the Daily Express. He studied his journalism masters at Press Association Training and graduated from the University of York with a degree in History.