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UCU welcomes Colchester Institute's pledge to support terminally ill workers

21 June 2019

UCU has welcomed the news that Colchester Institute has added its name to a charter aimed at helping employees who become terminally ill at work.

The TUC's Dying to Work Charter,which is part of its Dying to Workcampaign, seeks greater security for terminally ill workers so they cannot be dismissed as a result of their condition.

The signing took place at the college's Sheepen Road campus on Friday 21 June, with principal and chief executive Alison Andreas, UCU branch secretary John Pullen-Appleby and UNISON rep Marisa Baker.

The campaign was taken forward by the TUC following the case of Jacci Woodcook, a 58-year-old sales manager from Derbyshire, who was forced out of her job after being diagnosed with terminal breast cancer.

Colchester Institute UCU branch secretary John Pullen-Appleby said: 'We wholeheartedly welcome the college signing the Dying to Work Charter and hope others will follow suit. Worrying about your job should be the least of your concerns when you receive a terminal diagnosis and we believe this will provide significant reassurance to members of staff and their families if they ever have to face the trauma of a terminal illness diagnosis.'

TUC regional campaigns officer Laurie Heselden said: 'The TUC congratulates Colchester Institute for signing up to the charter. A person's job security should be the least of their worries when they get the terrible news of a terminal diagnosis. A million workers are now covered by the TUC's 'Dying to Work Charter' and we expect more employers to follow Colchester Institute's caring example and to sign up in the coming months. The charter is making a real difference to the most vulnerable workers in our workplaces.'

UNISON Colchester Institute rep Marisa Baker said: 'The last thing anybody needs when they're diagnosed with a terminal illness is to be thrown out of work as well. So Colchester Institute should be applauded for promising to do the right thing by its workers when they're at their most vulnerable. Hopefully other schools, colleges and universities across Essex will follow this excellent example.'

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