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Severn Trent back Milford woman’s Dying to Work legal rights campaign

Water company Severn Trent has signed up to the TUC's Dying to Work charter, which aims to protect employees with a terminal diagnosis. Front row, from left: Pauline Latham MP, Severn Trent CEO Liv Garfield, campaign founder Jacci Woodcock. Back row: Alexandra Newell and Jason Evans from Severn Trent, Colin Whyatt GMB, Lee Barron TUC.
Water company Severn Trent has signed up to the TUC's Dying to Work charter, which aims to protect employees with a terminal diagnosis. Front row, from left: Pauline Latham MP, Severn Trent CEO Liv Garfield, campaign founder Jacci Woodcock. Back row: Alexandra Newell and Jason Evans from Severn Trent, Colin Whyatt GMB, Lee Barron TUC.

Water company Severn Trent has backed the campaign launched by a Milford woman which aims to protect workers with a terminal illness.

The company, which serves millions of customers in the Midlands and Wales, has become the latest employer to sign up for TUC’s Dying to Work charter.

The campaign was launched two years ago by Jacci Woodcock, with support from Mid Derbyshire MP Pauline Latham, to call for a change in the law to secure people’s employment rights in the event of a terminal diagnosis.

Seven Trent chief executive officer Liv Garfield said: “It’s incredibly important to support any colleagues who have received such devastating news.

No one should have to worry about keeping their job if they have a terminal diagnosis and that’s why we were more than happy to sign up to the charter.

She added: “Whether a colleague wants to reduce their hours or work normally for as long as possible, it’s vital that they can expect the help and support of their employer which is exactly what we intend to offer at Severn Trent.”

Jacci began her campaign for a change in the law after she claims she was forced out of her job after finding out she had stage four incurable breast cancer in 2012.

Ultimately her job was saved after her union GMB threatened to publicly expose the company.

Employers all over the country have heeded the message and signed up to the voluntary charter, meaning around 554,500 workers are now better protected as a result.

Jacci said: “From my own experiences, I know just how important it is that everyone should be given the choice of whether they want to carry on at work and, if they do, for as long as they want.

“I’d just like to thank Severn Trent for joining the other companies that have already signed up, which is so important for so many people.”

The campaign is calling for terminal illness to be recognised as a protected characteristic, so that employees could not be dismissed on the basis of their condition, lose in-service benefits, or have their choice about when and how to stop work taken away.

To find out more, visit www.dyingtowork.co.uk.