Only 16% of companies have support measures for employees with cancer

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Only 16% of medium and large Spanish companies have pre-established measures to support their employees who suffer or have had cancer, despite the high incidence of this disease in people of working age: Almost 4 out of 10 diagnosed in 2018 were under 65.

They are study data Cancer in the company: 2020 perspectives through surveys conducted to human resources managers of companies with more than 50 workers, presented this Thursday, which indicates that Only 7% of these have support policies for employees who have relatives with cancer diseases.

The results reveal that 93% of professionals consulted have experienced cancer diagnoses among their employees and 94% have had workers with sick family members.

But nevertheless, Only 73% say their company is ready and trained to manage them and 42% provide information about this disease, said Isabel López Cotorruelo, medical director of MD Anderson Center Cancer Madrid, responsible for the study with Cigna Spain.

The psychooncologist Marta de la Fuente stressed that receiving a diagnosis of cancer produces in employees "a number of emotions, an unrecognizable fear that they had never experienced before".

"Life changes them 360 degrees" and they ask whether or not they have to stop working, said this expert, who explains that the main consequences "before, during and after" are an "impressive" fatigue, anxiety or muscle discomfort that prevents them from typing a computer.

After the treatment, the workers join "but we cannot pretend that they are one hundred percent", they do not like the role of victim or hinder the work of their colleagues and are afraid of gossip or not being able to withstand the entire workday, warned De la Fuente.

The study reveals that of the total respondents who have had cancer cases among their employees, 79% carried out some "special" measure so that the person could deal with the situation in the best possible way and 74% provided tools so that the treatment by the rest of the workforce was adequate.

The measures undertaken were mainly periodic communication with the affected party (74%), flexible hours with the option of teleworking (74%), redistribution of tasks (67%) and gradual reinstatement (61%).



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