During its 2011 Continuing cancer care conference, ECL launched the 2011 Declaration of Support for Cancer Patients to protect the rights of cancer patients at work and to ensure equal access to financial services for cancer patients - which reads as follows:

"In order to protect the rights of cancer patients at work and to ensure equal access to financial services for cancer patients, we, the undersigned, sall for, at the minimum, a definition of disability as set out by the UN Convention on the rights of people with disabilities, to be implemented in all member states and applied to all existing and proposed EU anti-discrimination legislation".

ECL further identified rights that patients should benefit from, when they are diagnosed with cancer:

1. Patients should have the right to take time off for treatments without having their pay or holiday leave docked,

2. Patients or survivors should have the right to paid absence for a year or more, or until settled in a new job,

3. Patients should also have the right to paid prescribed absence for rehabilitation with no time limit,

4. Patients should have paid time off for follow‐up appointments,

5. Patients should have at least two meetings with their line manager and/or HR manager including mutual expectations, side effects, late effects and the need for temporary special considerations.

6. Employees should have the right to be reintegrated into their jobs, or retrained for a new position, or offered a special job, or given help to find a new job,

7. Survivors and/or patients should have the right to a gradual return to work; the specifics need to be sorted at the individual and company level, accompanied by the right to renegotiate the tasks that you do.

8. Parents, guardians, relatives or a carer nominated by the patient should have the right to take paid time off in order to care for the patient when prescribed by a medical professional.

EPHA supports the ECL initiative and would be equally open to endorse any such initiative that was proposed by other members.


For further information

Association of European Cancer Leagues (ECL)

The Association of European Cancer Leagues website

EPHA related articles

Press Release: Prevention is the most cost-effective response to cancer, a leading cause of death in Europe

European Week Against Cancer 2011: EPHA members get mobilised

*Updated* EPHA recommendations to European Parliament Report on European Action Against Cancer

Last modified on September 29 2011.