PCC and Chief Constable pledge to provide protection for terminally ill workers


Merseyside Police’s Commissioner and Chief Constable have today pledged their support for employees who have a terminal illness by signing the TUC’s Dying to Work Charter.

By signing the official charter, Emily Spurrell and Serena Kennedy are showing their commitment to providing additional employment protection for all 6,650 officers and staff across both Merseyside Police and the Office of the PCC.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) Dying to Work Charter is an example of best practice. It commits an employer to help any member of staff who is diagnosed with a terminal illness to stay in their job for as long as they want.

At the heart of the Charter is the pledge to give an individual employee choice about whether they want to continue to work for a set period of time, or indefinitely, or leave to spend time with their families – all without fear of being dismissed on capability grounds

Merseyside Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “There can be no more traumatic time in life than dealing with the diagnosis of a terminal disease.

“It is crucial that any member of staff and their family in that devastating situation gets the best possible support and that includes employee protection.

“By signing up to the TUC’s Dying to Work charter, I hope we can provide security, respect and peace of mind to all of 6,650 employees in my office and within Merseyside Police that if the unthinkable happens we will be there to support and help them.

“By doing so we can guarantee staff dignity in the workplace and the right to choose the best path for them and their loved ones, ensuring they don’t have the additional worry of financial uncertainty.”

Chief Constable Serena Kennedy said:

“Anyone who receives the devastating news of a terminal illness faces a hugely worrying and challenging time and until any of us are in that position, we simply can’t imagine the huge emotional roller coaster that people go through. 

“What we can do is consider and have plans and policies in place for the things that may cause our staff to worry about planning for their future and that of their families.

“The priority for Merseyside Police is to make sure that we have the right support in place for our staff and their families when they have received such devastating news.

“So in signing the TUC’s Dying to Work charter, our clear message to employees with a terminal illness is that they have the choice to do what feels right for them.

“Whether that is continuing to work or leaving to spend time with their loved ones, we will back them in their decision and give them as much support as we can.”

Now, they have taken the pledge, the details of both the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and Merseyside Police will be added to the campaign website alongside all the other organisations which have taken the pledge, including Cheshire and Lancashire Constabularies and Dyfed-Powys Police.

Regional Secretary for the TUC North West Jay McKenna, who presented the official accreditation, said: “We are delighted that Merseyside Police’s Commissioner and Chief Constable have today signed the Dying to Work Charter providing additional employment protection for all 6,650 staff across both the Office of the PCC and Merseyside Police.

“Your job should be the least of your worries when you get a terminal diagnosis. Merseyside Police are working with unions to guarantee a fair treatment for terminally-ill workers.

“We now have over a million working people covered by the charter across the country and we expect more employers to commit in the coming months.”

The Dying to Work campaign was launched in May 2015 to fight for the rights, dignity, and respect for terminally ill workers.

Find out who else has signed the TUC Dying to Work pledge here: Who’s Signed? | Dying to Work