Posted 15th July 2019
Today, the government announced proposals to encourage low-paid workers with long term health conditions back into work with plans for statutory sick pay.
This move could affect dozens of patients here at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre and help cancer patients return to work more easily following an absence or stay in work longer.
According to MacMillan Cancer Support, cancer patients are on average £570 a month worse off because of their diagnosis. Those who earn less than £118 a week are currently not eligible for statutory sick pay. However the government is looking at the possibility of extending this eligibility to those earning below this threshold. More help for those returning to work after sickness is also proposed.
At The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, our dedicated Macmillan Benefits Advice Team provide advice and support to patients to access sources of support to help them cope with the financial shock of a cancer diagnosis. The team in based in the main reception building and can also provide information on the help available to deal with other problems such as rights at work, debt and financial planning.
“The ripple effect of being diagnosed with cancer can be wide reaching” explains Debra Connell, Benefits Team Leader at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre. “These potential plans to offer sick pay to low-paid workers could help ease the financial burden to those living with cancer. We welcome any support the government can offer cancer patients to allow them to stay in work or return to work, more easily.”
“We have lots of support available to our patients, including drop in sessions to assess their eligibility to benefits. These takes place on our Wirral site on a Tuesday and a Thursday between 10am and 4pm and at our Aintree site on a Friday also between 10am to 4pm.”
If you’re a patient here at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre and would like to know more about how the Benefits and Welfare Team can help you, please contact them on 0151 556 5228.
Photograph: Sam Griffiths and Debra Connell, Benefits & Welfare Team