Fidelity Canada touts preventative, life-sustaining benefits plans

More than three-quarters (77 per cent) of U.K. employees say their employee benefits didn’t meet their needs during their cancer journey, according to a new survey by Reframe Cancer.

The survey, which polled 500 U.K. working adults who have personal experience of working with cancer, found among those unsatisfied with their benefits, more than half were male (58 per cent), earned less than £30,000 per year (58 per cent), had worked with their current employer for four to 10 years (54 per cent) or were remote or hybrid workers (52 per cent).

Seven in 10 (71 per cent) respondents said their employer wasn’t fully prepared to support them during their cancer journey, a percentage that decreases among women (40 per cent). Just a third said their employer showed concern and interest throughout their cancer journey (33 per cent) and had been quick to respond and offer support when informed of a cancer diagnosis (34 per cent).

Read: Workplace cancer strategies can support employee health, reduce benefits costs: webinar

As well, 31 per cent said they received support and advice from human resources. Notably, just 28 per cent said their employer was providing ‘enough’ financial and emotional support and only 27 per cent said their line manager provided support and understanding during their battle with cancer.

The survey also found the average employee was absent for 15 weeks (roughly 75 working days) during their cancer journey. Indeed, employees at the symptom stage were absent from work roughly 12 days; however, the number of missed days increased for those at the recovery (24 days), treatment (23 days) and diagnosis and testing (16 days) stages.

One in 10 (14 per cent) respondents said they felt pressured to return to work sooner than they should. However, 70 per cent of those who felt they were well-supported by their employee benefits said they returned to work feeling like a ‘changed person’ with more empathy, better able to deal with stress and had a better appreciation for life.

Read: What does return to work look like for cancer patients?