My Ovacome

What are my employment rights ?

Hiya, does anyone out there know anything about my employment rights or where I can get accurate information ?

I finished my chemo in July and was hoping to return to work in early December but this week, whilst I was away on my first break in ages, my employer rang me to tell me that they were closing the unit I work in and effectively I did not have a job to go back to. Talk about good timing !! I should perhaps add that I work in a hospice.

Does anybody know what rights, if any, I have ? Does my employer have to try to find me a job in another part of the organisation that I am physically capable of doing or can they just make me redundant ? If I have to leave should I be retired on health grounds and does anyone know what this entitles me to ?

I have worked for this hospice for 24 years and feel that I have just been dumped because they see me as a liability. Coping with cancer is a big enough trial in itself, I don't have to tell anyone on this site that, but this is the final straw.

Sorry about all the questions and my moaning.

Sue xx

5 Replies

Hi Sue,

Sorry this is happening to you.

If the part of the business in which you work is being closed it would seem that redundancy is the obvious route, and that there is little you can do about it. However; find out if your colleagues are also being told that they are being made redundant. If the ones who are not a 'liability' are being re-located to other roles in the business, you might have a claim against them fro unfair dismissal. They are not allowed to discriminate against you because you have a long term need to take time off for your cancer ( and obviously the publicity were you to broadcast it, for such an employer would be more than embarrassing). You will need the evidence that you are being treated differently than others, though.

On a personal note, I had also worked for a 'caring' organisation for more than 25 yrs, and expected them to do the right thing by me - they did not; it became very nasty and destructive to my self esteem and friendships with colleagues, and although I negotiated a moderate lump sum in settlement because they were in the wrong, it left me in fear of recurrence because of the distress it caused me. Luckily, I didn't have a recurrence, but the sad fact is, that the people I had worked so closely with for all those years were prepared to treat me so badly in the knowledge that I had to protect my health and was vulnerable. This was as hard for me to negotiate emotionally as was the cancer!

I hope sincerely that you get the answers you want and are treated properly. It would be worth getting advice, but my first step would be to write to them to state formally that you are intending to return to work with them after your recovery from chemotherapy, and would expect them to relocate you to a different role in the hospice if necessary.

Very best wishes,



ACAS would be able to advise you and also you might be covered by the Disability Legislation. There's an organisation that gives advice but I cannot remember what it's called. Google it. If you are a union member, call your rep. All the best.


I just want to add: if they are to make you redundant, they have to go through a redundancy process, which you will need to be involved in - it has to be open, fair and the same for others in your 'department'.




you are covered by the DDA - I too had difficulties when returning to work and found both ACAS and my local CAB extremely helpful. MacMillan are also a useful source of information and they will be up to date with all the latest case law etc.

Kind Regards



So sorry to hear you're having all this to contend with as well as your diagnosis. I sit on a "survivorship" group with Macmillan in our local area (S E Essex) and there are Macmillan run centre at Basildon Hospital where they have someone who gives finance and job related advice. Macmillan would be able to help you I am sure, as they have a work and benefits department. Also if you belong to union, they are a very good port of call. Also the MPs have been discussing ovca care lately and there is now an MP who is taking a special interest, you could contact your MP if you don't get a satisfactory answer to your initial queries.

All the best with this

Wendy xx


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