Blogs and Articles

Blogs and articles written for other organisations as well as for this website. You can filter the articles using the options below

Cancer at Work: An Interview with Barbara Wilson

Date posted: April 28, 2017

Read Barbara Wilson’s interview with the Harley Street Concierge Blog  in the first in a series of articles about Cancer in the Workplace.  Barbara discusses a variety of topics including her personal experience ​of​ breast cancer; ​how ​companies ​could improve their ​support​ for​ employees​ and ​what you ​should ​do if you’re feeling unsupported at work

​Read the full article here

Top tips on how to support a colleague during and after cancer treatment

Date posted: March 22, 2017

Cancer is having a huge impact within the workplace and this will continue and increase for the foreseeable future. Although long-term absence[1] (lasting over four weeks) only accounts for 5% of all absence episodes, it typically accounts for 30–40% of total working time lost. In 2013 it was estimated to cost the UK £4bn per annum. Cancer represents a significant cause of long-term absence for manual workers (29%) and among non-manual employees is the second most frequently reported cause of long-term absence. And with the number of cancer survivors expected to increase from 2.5 million to 4 million by 2030, being equipped to support staff affected by cancer will become even more important.

Line managers play a crucial role in…

Read full article here

Written for Macmillan Cancer Support, March 2017

Working together towards recovery

Date posted: March 9, 2017

For International Women’s Day Barbara was interviewed by the Daily Telegraph for their special supplement on Diversity in the Workplace.

Read Daily Telegraph article here (PDF)

Q&A at Trekstock

Date posted: January 5, 2017

Barbara Wilson visited Trekstock’s offices in Covent Garden just before Christmas to answer a wide variety of questions about how to manage work and cancer successfully. Watch the video below.

Managing the performance of people affected by cancer

Date posted: December 6, 2016

Here are a couple of case studies to get you thinking: can you spot what the employers should have done differently in the two case studies below?

Case 1:

A friend of mine, relatively new in a senior role, was diagnosed with cancer. Keen to keep on working during her chemo and with no real knowledge of what chemo was like, she committed to going into work for a couple of days a week. This worked well for a couple of cycles of chemotherapy but it soon became clear to her that, given the impact of her chemotherapy was cumulative, she wouldn’t be able to work the days to which she had committed. Her employer’s response was to start performance managing her for not fulfilling her commitments and not meeting her targets.

Case 2:

A client of mine returned to work following cancer treatment to find that her boss had requested a 360-degree appraisal of her in her absence. She returned to a meeting in her first week back with her boss and an HR representative, where she was confronted by anonymous and highly-critical comments from her boss and colleagues.

If you don’t see anything wrong in the above cases, please do two things:

1. For Case 1, have a careful read of…

Read full article here

Written for Macmillan Cancer Support, November 2016

Is your long-term sickness policy fit for work and cancer?

Date posted: September 23, 2016

Returning to work is not a sprint, it’s more like a marathon and sometimes there need to be pauses along the way to draw breath. It’s not a seamless progression, but a long and winding road. Is your long term sickness policy fit for purpose?

Read full article here

Written for Macmillan Cancer Support, September 2016

Introducing Evenbreak

Date posted: July 26, 2016

We at Working With Cancer are often approached by cancer survivors struggling to find work after their cancer treatment. Whether they have been out of work for a short or long period the main issues are often the same:  how to explain a gap on their CV or job application, what to say at an interview about their illness if anything, and where/how to start looking for work.

Read full article here PDF

Written for Working with Cancer, July 2016

Working Carers- The Lost Tribe?

Date posted: June 6, 2016

I remember it distinctly. It was just another rather mundane day at the office when I left a meeting to take an urgent phone call. One of our employees had recently become a dad but now – just a few weeks later – a routine blood test had revealed that his wife had acute myeloid leukaemia. She would need to spend many weeks in hospital in isolation and would be unable to care for their new baby. Shocked and floundering about how to handle this, the line manager asked if it would be ok to give our employee a period of compassionate leave. I said…

Read the full article here

Written for Macmillan Cancer Support, June 2016

An MP’s experience and advice about working with cancer: Jo Churchill

Date posted: April 26, 2016

“It’s really important employers understand that when they are dealing with somebody they are dealing with the person, not the cancer”

Jo Churchill talks about her two experiences of cancer, how she dealt with it and what she learned about herself, about other people, about work and about life.

Read full article here (PDF)

Jo Chuchill is the Member of Parliament for the constituency of Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk.

Managing someone coping with the long term side effects of cancer

Date posted: March 15, 2016

If you read my last blog you’ll recall that I wrote, ‘returning to work is not a sprint, it’s more like a marathon and sometimes there needs to be pauses along the way to draw breath. It’s not a seamless progression but a long and winding road’. In most cases this is a journey which can be managed but it is one which needs support, encouragement and reassurance from managers and colleagues.

But why is this the case?

Written for Macmillan Cancer Support, March 2016
Read full article here