Kent becomes the first UK university to sign the Trade Union Congress (TUC)’s Dying to Work Voluntary Charter, which provides additional protection and support to employees who are diagnosed as terminally ill.
The Charter was signed by Denise Everitt, the University’s Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer, and Lee Barron, TUC Regional Secretary, at the event on 14 August at Kent’s Canterbury campus.
By signing the Charter, the University commits to supporting employees who are coming to the end of their life, giving them the freedom to choose how they balance their care and work as best suits their needs. All cases will be managed on an individual basis with respect, dignity and compassion.
This includes removing any formal health capability processes if a member of staff can no longer perform their full job role. This means an employee will be able to remain at work despite their ill health.
In addition to all rights as set out under the Equality Act 2010, employees will also have their earnings protected if working hours are adjusted. Enhanced sickness benefit will be provided of six months’ full pay and six months’ half pay to employees with at least 12 months’ service with the University.
The unions represented by the TUC and covered by the Charter are the University and Colleges Union (UCU), UNISON, General Municipal and Boilermakers’ Union (GMB) and UNITE.