The marketing communications group Core launched a “Working with Cancer” policy at a recent internal gathering of employees with some sharing their experiences of how cancer has impacted their lives and the importance of support networks during this challenging time.
Core employs a team of 330 people across nine practices including media, data, creative, sponsorship, investment and learning.
At the event, some team members spoke about their experience of how the culture of Core has provided “compassionate support” and that it reduced “the stigma of cancer” in the workplace.
In 2022, research carried out by Publicis UK discovered that up to 50% of those diagnosed with cancer are reluctant to tell their employers. Core has signed the #WorkingWithCancer pledge to reduce the stigma around cancer diagnosis. This ensures there are practical company supports and a culture of compassion. Supports include upgrading of private health insurance, nutritional support, laundry services and post-operative home help. The policy also ensures time-off for appointments, flexible working arrangements and all aspects of a gradual return to work.
According to Catherine Fitzgibbon, human resources director, Core, the group encourage managers to support their team members when they are out on long term sick leave by agreeing boundaries and communication lines from the very start. Managers also recommend checking in with team members if appropriate, where the employee has consented.
“Core has always operated a policy of transparency and support and we continue to put the needs of employees and welfare above all else,” says Fitzgibbon.
“The Working with Cancer policy is one of many of our policies which supports our team during moments of life that can be challenging. We hope that this will not only reduce the stigma around a cancer diagnosis, but also provide tangible and practical support for our team members,” she says.