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West Midlands pledges support to terminally ill staff

28 April 2017

WEST MIDLANDS Fire and Rescue Service has today become the latest employer to sign up to the Dying to Work campaign to protect people at work who are diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Currently, the law allows employers to dismiss terminally ill workers if they fail a capability assessment with ‘reasonable adjustments’. The Dying to Work campaign, run by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), wants to change this. They are asking employers to sign up to a voluntary charter that sets out an agreed way in which their employees will be supported and protected at work, following a terminal diagnosis.

West Midlands Fire Service chief fire officer Phil Loach said: “West Midlands Fire Service has a history of providing excellent care to our employees who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness.

“Each case is clearly very individual, so we provide flexible and compassionate support. We work closely with any staff member affected to support their decisions and ensure the best outcome for them, their loved ones and the organisation.”

Andrew Scattergood, chair of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) in the West Midlands, welcomed the news. He said: “This is a sensible and compassionate move by the fire and rescue service and one I am thankful for them to have adopted. It is the least any employer can do for a worker diagnosed with a terminal condition.

“This is about giving firefighters who are battling a terminal illness choice and security. We welcome the fire authority’s decision to sign the charter and hope more fire and rescue services follow suit.”

West Midlands is the latest fire and rescue service to have signed up to the charter following Staffordshire’s move earlier this month.