In a survey of 300 UK workers diagnosed with cancer in the last five years, more than a third (40%) of workers surveyed were unfamiliar with the resources their employer provided for cancer sufferers before they were diagnosed. Unum’s survey found that people with cancer largely received some form of support from their employer, although a little under a third (28%) said they didn’t receive any support or the support they received fell below their expectations, suggesting more can be done to support employees.
The results underpinned the importance of a supportive employer, with the large majority (84%) of respondents agreeing that the level of support they received may directly correlate to the loyalty (or disloyalty) they feel towards their employer. More than half (52%) of employees thought they may have been able to return to work sooner had they received better support from their employers.
Three out of four (74%) workers surveyed worried about the cost of cancer and how their families would cope with loss of income if they had to give up work. The major costs of cancer reported include travel, not being able to work and earn an income (either them or their caregiving spouse), and higher bills. Receiving repetitive treatment or recovering from surgery can require time away from work and understanding from an employer. Yet, a third (32%) of respondents revealed taking time off work for appointments is one of the biggest challenges they faced.
More than half (52%) of respondents thought insurance cover – either to help with loss of income from an inability to work or to provide a lump sum financial benefit to help with the cost of cancer – would be beneficial.