RedArc believes employers can play their part in this year’s World Cancer Day (4 February), the theme of which is ‘Close the Care Gap,’ by focusing attention on ensuring employees living with cancer get the care they require and deserve.
Three steps to ‘Close the Care Gap’ on cancer within the workplace
RedArc suggests that employers can help ‘Close the Care Gap’ by ensuring they take three steps:
Step1: Offer support
Employers who don’t already offer support must consider doing so to ensure their employees can access help when they are affected by cancer. With the disease being so prevalent and affecting such a large proportion of the population at one stage of their life or another, this is a clear way to demonstrate that employers care about the health of their employees.
Step 2: Ensure support meets real needs
‘Closing the Care Gap’ also means ensuring the support is carefully chosen and will really meet the needs of all of those who are affected by cancer.
This might be the employee and/or their families – whether just diagnosed or undergoing treatment. Support needs to add genuine value, be sufficiently comprehensive and flexible to meet all the different practical and emotional needs of all concerned.
Step 3: Communicate
Employers need to ensure that once support is in place, that it is effectively and regularly communicated so that staff know it is available and how to access it.
Christine Husbands, managing director for RedArc said: “Employers should be looking to improve the health outcomes of their employees and their families at very vulnerable times in their lives, simply because it’s the right thing to do. However, if a business case needs building, then the additional benefits for their own organisation are compelling – namely, differentiation against competitors, greater engagement with employees and improved perception of the employer.”
Complex, long-term and unique
Many cancer needs are complex and can be very long-term, with no two individual experiences or journeys the same. Therefore, ‘Closing the Care Gap’ in an employee benefits setting should also acknowledge that supports need to offer a breadth and depth to meet the needs of all individuals and be flexible to change over time.
In practice this often means supporting employees while they contemplate treatment and understand their options; it may comprise helping them manage symptoms, prepare for appointments, and deal with the psychological impact of the condition on them and their families over the long term.
Crucially, it also means ensuring support is available as soon as possible after a diagnosis is received.
Christine Husbands, managing director for RedArc said: “Many employers will already be providing support for their employees who are affected by cancer. However, this World Cancer Day is a timely reminder that all companies should regularly review the care and support they offer to make sure that it is sufficient to meet the needs of those affected, and to see if they can extend that support in any way to improve the outcomes for people.”