Supporting employees with terminal illness: a guide to workplace policies and practice

Smithson, J., Abreu Scherer, I., Baverstock Poppy, I., Bevan, S., and Parry, R., |   | What Works Centre for Wellbeing & Marie Curie | Nov 2023

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This guide was written by Joanne Smithson and Ingrid Abreu Scherer from the What Works Centre for Wellbeing; Izzie Baverstock Poppy from Marie Curie; Stephen Bevan, from the Institute for Employment Studies and Prof. Ruth Parry, Emeritus Professor of Human Communications and Interaction, and Communications Consultant. It is an introduction to the topic of work and terminal illness, rather than a comprehensive set of instructions. This is because there is currently very little evidence of ‘what works’ to most effectively support employees with a terminal illness.

This guide is designed to provide insights and information that employers can use to develop policy and recommendations that are aligned to their particular organisation and employees. 

This guide sets out the most important things employers should think about, including:

● What people working with a terminal illness tell us about their experience and needs at work;
● What managers need to know, and how to support them in their role;
● How to build a positive and compassionate working culture around terminal illness;
● How to make the case for a dedicated policy to directors or trustees.