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Government Departments: Terminal Illnesses

Women and Equalities written question – answered on 28th January 2020.

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Photo of Jon Trickett Jon Trickett Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office), Shadow Lord President of the Council

To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, whether the Government has plans to sign up for the Trades Union Congress's charter entitled, Dying to Work; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women

The Government supports the aim of enabling employees with terminal illnesses or life-threatening conditions to continue working for as long as possible. The Equality Act 2010 already provides protection for the workplace rights of people with terminal illnesses or life-threatening conditions. Cancer, HIV and multiple sclerosis are specified disabilities in the Act. This means anyone with any of the above-listed chronic and/or life-limiting conditions is considered disabled and is protected from discriminatory treatment as a result of having that condition. The Act also provides that people with progressive conditions that have effects that increase in severity over time should be regarded as meeting the criteria for having a disability before it actually has that effect.

The Act places obligations on employers regarding disabled workers to ensure that workers who have chronic diseases or conditions (whether terminal or not), or debilitating illnesses, are fully protected from any unlawful behaviour by their employers. The Government also supports the Disability Confident employer scheme. More information can be found at:

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