Returning to work after a cancer diagnosis

Pro bono workplace advisory service

Published 18 July 2016
Returning to work after a cancer diagnosis can raise many questions for your patients. There may be concerns about whether to tell the employer, or alternatively, assistance is required to transition back into the workplace following treatment. The pro bono workplace advisory service offered by Cancer Council can help people who cannot afford to pay for advice.

The pro bono programs are offered by professionals in the community who volunteer their time and Cancer Council provides a matching service to allocate people to an appropriate service. This includes specialist HR and recruitment professionals who can assist with work-related issues that arise before, during and after treatment, as well as transitioning back into the workplace following treatment.

Cancer can affect the working life of patients and carers and will depend on the individual circumstances. Common questions may be around what kinds of flexible working arrangements are possible to balance work commitments and treatment. These professionals can assist with strategies to maintain performance when coping with side effects. Additionally, if changing jobs or running a business, the specialist HR and recruitment professionals provide advice around how to manage challenges.

To find out more about connecting your patients with the pro bono programs or how to refer into the programs call our cancer nurses on 13 11 20, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm.

More resources available include the Cancer, Work and You booklet that contains information about how cancer can affect your ability to work and tips about working during treatment and recovery. There are also suggestions for people trying to balance employment and caring duties. The Employment and Cancer factsheet answers some common questions people have about their rights at work.