We have a small but very important favour to ask! And it’s to strongly encourage you all if you can, to join the Blood Cancer UK team on our “Save Our Shielders” campaign:
We believe no one should have to choose between their health and their job, and so we are campaigning for more financial support for those affected by blood cancer and who cannot safely go back to work. You can find out more about this and how you can support our campaign here: https://bloodcancer.org.uk/news/people-with-blood-cancer-who-cant-work-safely-should-get-financial-support-from-government/
Plus! Add your voice by writing to your MP: https://bloodcancer.eaction.org.uk/shielding
Thank you so much forum family, and any questions- please do get in touch,
Take care and warmest wishes from the Blood cancer UK support team
Brilliant campaign, I’m on board !!!
Count me in. i know my MP as his daughter runs with mine, so will talk to him directly about it. I’ll put out a note on Facebook about it too etc. Thanks for organising this.
Well done for organising this, I’ve emailed my MP!
Good campaign! I have just emailed my MP!
Done. But it’s John Redwood, so breath retention is not recommended
PS: I wronged him - he’s not usually very accommodating. But this time his aide says he’s [JR] going to “tak[e my] concerns up with the Government”.
I wonder if we should also widen this campaign to involve the devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as responsibility for Health is one of the areas that authority has been devolved.
Yes, this would be well worth doing. And without being political, much more likely to get a positive response from Edinburgh.
I got this response below from my MP and it is good news re the SSP.
Thank you for contacting me about employment support for people with blood cancer.
Blood cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the UK, with around 250,000 people living with the disease. For those people and their families, I believe we must do all we can to ensure the right treatment and support is on offer.
Blood Cancer UK has raised concerns about financial protection for people in the UK with blood cancer who are unable to return to work. The charity estimates around 9,000 people may be in this category, due to being advised by clinicians to continue shielding or where their employer cannot create a COVID-free workplace and working from home is not possible.
Shielding for clinically extremely vulnerable people in England, including people with blood cancer, will be paused from 1 August unless transmission of coronavirus in the community starts to rise significantly. From this date, the UK Government will advise people who were previously shielding that they can go to work, provided the workplace is COVID-secure, but should carry on working from home if possible. Shielding is also due to be paused in Scotland from 1 August and in Wales from 16 August.
I am concerned that where an employer cannot make the workplace COVID-secure, individuals may feel forced to put their health at risk just to make ends meet. I therefore supported calls on the UK Government to extend the full job retention scheme for those who are unable to return to work safely.
Ministers in the UK Government have said regarding people with blood cancer who have been shielding and cannot work from home that an employee could be furloughed from 1 July where they were previously furloughed for at least three consecutive weeks between 1 March 2020 and 30 June.
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) has been available as a safety net in cases where people have been unable to go to work or be furloughed. The UK Government has said that once shielding is paused individuals will no longer be eligible for SSP on the basis of being clinically extremely vulnerable. However, it has also confirmed that those who are required to continue shielding after 1 August and have a medical letter confirming this will continue to be eligible for SSP.
Thank you once again for contacting me about this important issue. I will be monitoring any developments in relation to this closely.
Lucy Powell MP"
Hi @MoMo a very comprehensive response, please let us know how you are doing.
Hi @Erica, thanks I am doing okay. Have been on homecation so got a little bit time to just be and not to think about work stuff. Back to work (still from home which I am very lucky) but living in the area with ‘local lockdown rules’ and have to start figure out if I’m able to do work outside home or not come September… it’s hard enough to have an illness and on top of that this Covid, which will be with us sometime… How are you doing?
Yes, @MoMo, it must be weird being in a local lockdown area. Yes, it is hard enough having an illness and the complexities and anxieties of Covid. You have also got your uncertainties with work. I think that is why this forum is even more important as it is a place I can really share what it is like being me. Please let us know how it evolves being in local lockdown.