2 February 2018

  |  CBI Northern Ireland

Press release

A compassionate, supportive and flexible approach essential to support people with chronic health conditions

CBI NI Director Angela McGowan and CBI Lincolnshire Director David Shutts speak at the launch of the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland’s guide on ‘Supporting Employees Affected by Cancer.’

A compassionate, supportive and flexible approach essential to support people with chronic health conditions

CBI Northern Ireland Director Angela McGowan will today urge companies to ensure they take a compassionate, supportive and flexible approach for employees with chronic health conditions.

Speaking at the launch of the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland’s guide on ‘Supporting Employees Affected by Cancer’, Angela will say that companies should offer greater flexibility to employees facing ill-health when they choose to stay in work. 

David Shutts OBE, CBI Director for Lincolnshire, will echo this call speaking as a person affected by cancer and founder of health charity ASTRiiD, which aims to find meaningful work for people with long term and chronic illness.

According to Macmillan Cancer Support, 120,0001 people of working age across the UK are diagnosed with cancer every year and Cancer Research UK further estimate that 1 in 2 people in the UK born after 1960 will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime2.

Angela will further highlight the value to businesses in drawing on the skills and experiences of the widest pool of talent, as well as emphasising the benefits of fulfilling employment for those with chronic illnesses.  She will champion the CBI’s campaign for fair and inclusive workplaces that result in better business performance and happier, more engaged staff.

Angela McGowan, CBI Northern Ireland Director said:

“The CBI has long argued that employers must pick up the pace of progress towards fair and inclusive workplaces. Supporting people with chronic illness is part of that, so we’re absolutely delighted to be backing David’s charity ASTRiiD. David not only speaks from personal experience but is actively helping people affected by cancer.

“Thanks to significant advances in medical treatments, many cancer patients want to stay in employment and continue to make a valuable contribution to their workplace. Of course, this can only happen when employers take a compassionate, supportive and flexible approach.

“It is good to see that many employers are doing this, and specialist expertise from charities such as ASTRiiD can really help companies to support people in the most appropriate and effective way”.