Coronavirus advice for young people with cancer
Find information about how to stay safe from coronavirus if you have a weakened immune system as a result of cancer. People who have a weakened immune system are at a higher risk of being really unwell if they catch coronavirus.
Even though most restrictions have lifted across the UK you may still have questions about what you should and shouldn’t do. You can find information from the government website for your country, or from your GP or clinical care team.
For children with cancer there is also information on the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia (CCLG) website.
I am at a higher risk from COVID-19 and I have been asked to go back into work. What are my rights?
You might be asked to go back into work if you’ve been working from home. It’s OK to have mixed feelings about this, especially if you’re clinically extremely vulnerable.
Your employer still has a legal requirement to make sure vulnerable people are kept safe at work. So, you should only make changes to your place of work once you’ve spoken to your GP or clinical care team about making sure you stay safe.
If you are asked to change your working pattern, there are a few things you might find helpful to do:
Talk to your employer. Explaining your situation and why you’re anxious about going back into work can help them find a way to make sure you’re safe. They will keep whatever you say confidential if others at your workplace don’t know about your cancer treatment.
Ask if you can work somewhere else. You might be able to keep working from home for longer, for example.
You can ask your employer about things they could put in place to help you feel safer, like continuing with mask wearing or social distancing in your place of work.
Ask if they’ve read the latest guidelines from the Health and Safety Executive about how to keep vulnerable people safe at work from coronavirus, and ask which of their suggestions they’ll be able to put in place.
In the short term, you could ask to take some paid holiday, if you have any owed to you.
As someone with cancer, you are also protected by the Equality Act (England, Scotland and Wales) or the Disability Discrimination Act (Northern Ireland). That means that your employer has to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to make sure you’re able to work safely.
Macmillan Cancer Support (PDF) also have some really helpful info on reasonable adjustments, and a directory of organisations who could help you with questions about your workplace.
You can find more detailed information about employment help and support available to you in your country through your government’s website.