College signs ‘Dying to Work’ Charter

Colchester Institute has signed a voluntary charter, making a commitment to employees to ensure that they are protected if diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Many companies around the United Kingdom are now pledging to protect the rights of their employees by signing the Charter. The College has ensured that there will be support in place for employees following diagnosis of a terminal illness and provided the reassurance that everything possible will be done to make sure that their situation is not made worse by work-related worries.

The signing took place at the College’s Sheepen Road campus, with Principal and Chief Executive, Alison Andreas and two of Colchester Institute’s Union Representatives, Marisa Baker and John Pullen-Appleby in attendance.

Principal and Chief Executive, Alison Andreas commented: “Of course, our hope for all of our staff is that they will remain fit and well during their working life and enjoy long and rewarding retirements, but we recognise that if a terminal illness is diagnosed, this requires support and understanding, and not additional stress and worry.

By signing the Dying to Work Charter, we commit to providing Colchester Institute staff with peace of mind around job security, and the right to choose the best course of action for themselves, and their families, to help them through difficult times, with dignity and without undue financial loss.”

TUC regional campaigns officer Laurie Heselden said: “The TUC congratulates Colchester Institute for signing up to the Charter. A person’s job security should be the least of their worries when they get the terrible news of a terminal diagnosis. A million workers are now covered by the TUC’s ‘Dying to Work Charter’ and we expect more employers to follow Colchester Institute’s caring example and to sign up in the coming months. The Charter is making a real difference to the most vulnerable workers in our workplaces.”

Union representatives, John Pullen-Appleby and Marisa Baker were pleased with the pledge.

Colchester Institute University and College Union branch secretary John Pullen-Appleby said: “We wholeheartedly welcome the college signing the Dying to Work Charter and hope others will follow suit. Worrying about your job should be the least of your concerns when you receive a terminal diagnosis and we believe this will provide significant reassurance to members of staff and their families if they ever have to face the trauma of a terminal illness diagnosis.”

UNISON Colchester Institute rep, Marisa Baker added: “The last thing anybody needs when they’re diagnosed with a terminal illness is to be thrown out of work as well. So Colchester Institute should be applauded for promising to do the right thing by its workers when they’re at their most vulnerable. Hopefully other schools, colleges and universities across Essex will follow this excellent example.”