• Nearly half (49 per cent) of managers of employees with a family member diagnosed with cancer say their company doesn’t have a formal policy for employees caring for close family members or dependents diagnosed with cancer.
• 32 per cent of employees with a family member diagnosed with cancer report that they didn’t feel supported by their employer when the diagnosis was made.
• New AXA PPP healthcare white paper makes practical recommendations to employers to help them support employees affected by the cancer of a loved one.
16 May 2016: AXA PPP healthcare has today published a white paper – Love for the loved ones: how to support employees when cancer affects their family – for employers to help them support employees who have a family member affected by cancer, available here.
Drawing on its research into the impact a cancer diagnosis can have on family members, the white paper makes practical recommendations to employers about the support they can offer employees with caring responsibilities, highlighting the importance of continuing dialogue and clear signposting to available workplace support.
Despite over 500,000 people in the UK combining work with caring for someone with cancer*, managers’ willingness to help them is not always backed up by formal company policies and procedures. AXA PPP healthcare research** has found that nearly half (49 per cent) of managers of employees with a family member diagnosed with cancer say their company doesn’t have a formal policy for employees caring for close family members or dependents diagnosed with cancer – circumstances that may underpin the finding that 28 per cent of the managers we surveyed said they took it upon themselves to exercise their discretion and offer flexible working to employees with a close family member/dependent suffering from cancer.
Inconsistency and variability in employers’ approaches to providing support may also underpin the finding that nearly a third (32 per cent) of employees said that they didn’t feel supported by their employer when their loved one was diagnosed with cancer.
Chris Horlick, Distribution Director at AXA PPP healthcare, commented: “When someone is diagnosed with cancer, focus rightly turns to that person’s health and wellbeing. But it’s also important to remember the impact the diagnosis can have on the sufferer’s family. In addition to the emotional impact, family members may find themselves facing a host of additional pressures and responsibilities. Improvement in treatment is enabling many people affected by cancer to live longer lives with the disease held in check or even cured. While this is welcome, it means that the impact of having cancer in the family will continue to be felt for months and even years to come. There’s much that employers can do to support employees who find themselves in this situation. And, by doing this well, they’ll not only help employees through a difficult time, they’ll also help to maintain morale and productivity and retain valued employees.”
The white paper sets out recommendations on how employers can develop and introduce policies and practices so that those in their organisations have a clear idea what to do when an employee has a close family member affected by a such a serious, potentially life changing condition.
Recommendations for employers
• Review and revise company policies and procedures to include carers.
• Build awareness of cancer – the impact of living with the disease and caring for those who have it.
• Consider introducing flexible working arrangements for carers.
• Clearly communicate available workplace support – for example, confidential counselling, cancer nurse helplines and private healthcare cover.
• Ensure that workloads are fairly managed across affected teams.
*Macmillan Cancer Support/Ipsos MORI (2011). More than a million: understanding the UK’s carers of people with cancer: http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Documents/Cancerinfo/Ifsomeoneelsehascancer/More_than_a_million.pdf
**OnePoll surveys, undertaken September 2015, of 1000 managers of employees who have had a family member diagnosed with cancer and of 1000 employed people with a family member who has been diagnosed with cancer within the last five years.
Ben Faulkner/John DuBoisAXA PPP healthcare press office 01892 612822
Notes to Editors
About AXA PPP healthcare
AXA PPP healthcare– one of the largest and most experienced private medical insurance providers in the UK – has been helping people to access healthcare services since 1940. Today it forms the UK healthcare arm of AXA and provides cover formedical and dental care for individuals and employers, and employee wellbeing, counselling, occupational health and rehabilitation services through its specialist Health Services division.
AXA PPP healthcare has been named the Best Healthcare Provider for three years running in the Your Money Awards and, in June 2015, was awarded the prestigious accolade of European Large Contact Centre of the Year at the 2015 European Contact Centre & Customer Service Awards, followed in September 2015 by the Best Customer Experience accolade in the Large Contact Centre category of the UK Customer Experience Awards 2015.
The AXA Group is a worldwide leader in insurance and asset management, with 166,000 employees serving 103 million clients in 64 countries. In 2015, IFRS revenues amounted to Euro 99.0 billion and IFRS underlying earnings to Euro 5.6 billion. AXA had Euro 1,363 billion assets under management as of December 31, 2015. In 2015 Interbrand ranked AXA the 1st insurance brand worldwide for the 7th consecutive year.
In the UK AXA operates through a number of business units including: AXA Wealth, AXA Insurance, AXA PPP healthcare, AXA Ireland and an independent distribution business Bluefin. AXA employs over 10,500 staff in the UK.
The AXA ordinary share is listed on compartment A of Euronext Paris under the ticker symbol CS (ISN FR 0000120628 – Bloomberg: CS FP – Reuters: AXAF.PA). AXA’s American Depository Share is also quoted on the OTC QX platform under the ticker symbol AXAHY.
The AXA Group is included in the main international SRI indexes, such as Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) and FTSE4GOOD.
It is a founding member of the UN Environment Programme’s Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Principles for Sustainable Insurance and a signatory of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment.