Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service signs charter to support terminally ill employees

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service has signed the Trades Union Congress’ (TUC) Dying to Work charter, in order to offer greater security to employees who are living and working with a terminal illness.

The voluntary charter forms part of the TUC’s wider Dying to Work campaign. This seeks to have terminal illness recognised as a protected characteristic, as this would allow employees to enjoy a protected period at work where they cannot be dismissed as a result of their condition.

The charter also seeks to give employees with terminal illnesses more choice in how to spend their final months, and offers peace of mind around job security.

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Neil Odin, chief fire officer at Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “This is about doing the right thing. As an organisation, we pride ourselves on looking after our staff, especially in their times of greatest need.

“By signing this charter, we hope to reassure staff of the commitment and support we will offer should they suffer from a terminal illness. We are proud to sign up to this important charter.”

As part of its commitment, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service aims to provide support such as counselling and financial advice, as well as train line managers and HR staff on how to deal with cases of terminal illness, including how to discuss future plans and make adaptations to an employee’s role, if necessary.

The organisation has arranged further training in partnership with charity Macmillan Cancer Support.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, which has 1,757 employees, signed the charter on 17 January 2019 at its Eastleigh-based headquarters. Other employers that have signed the charter include Lloyds Banking Group, TSB, Rolls-Royce, Royal Mail, the Co-op and Santander.

Chris Carter, chairman councillor at Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority, added: “Our people make the organisation what it is: one of the best fire and rescue services in the country.

“I am often humbled by the dedication and extra mile efforts that our teams go to to keep the people of Hampshire safe. It is only right that when people who save lives need help themselves that it is forthcoming and unwavering.”