Joint planning and workplace flexibility
Breast cancer can be unpredictable, so it is important to devise a flexible joint return to work plan. This process allows both you and your employee to discuss and agree the best way forward. The plan should be regularly reviewed and amended as appropriate.
If we want great work outcomes within our organisation, we need to support people to be the best that they can be, and that includes people who have an illness.
Reasonable adjustments may help ease your employee back into the workplace, e.g. flexible working hours, or planning a phased return to work. It’s important to involve your employee in these conversations, to ensure collaborative decision making.
Make a plan
- Developing a work and breast cancer plan (or a return to work plan) is an important step to put in place before your employee comes back.
- Schedule a meeting with your employee approximately two weeks before they are due to return. This allows them the chance to visit the workplace, receive important information and updates, and raise any concerns they may have.
- This meeting is a good time to ask them how much information they want to share with the team and wider organisation, and how comfortable they are talking to others in the workplace about how they feel.
- Recovering from cancer is often a long process and side effects can continue for months or even years. It’s important to be flexible with your employee’s return to work plan. As part of this plan, you will need to discuss and finalise any reasonable adjustments required.
For further information, the following resources are available:
- BCNA's Tips for managers of people diagnosed with breast cancer to learn how to support your employee.
- Download BCNA's Work rights and responsibilities – for employers to familiarise yourself with the rights and responsibilities of an employer of a person with a serious illness.
- For information to support the employment of people with cancer contact JobAccess 1800 464 800 or visit the JobAccess website.