N4K – Terminal Illness and the Workplace

On Wednesday the 3rd of May from 8:30am - 10:30am at Retro Lane Cafe, Murray- Riverina NSW Business Chamber with hosts from Albury City held a Networking for Knowledge (N4K) Forum focusing the discussion around how to manage terminal illness in the workplace.

​In this forum we discussed questions/ choices that businesses may face when when a fellow colleague is diagnosed with a terminal illness or passes away suddenly. Some of the topics discussed are as listed below:

  • Can we as a business support the employee's pay whilst they are off work with a terminal illness?
  • If so how long can we as a business afford to provide financial support?
  • Should a set time frame be considered as part of the Human Resource policies and procedures?
  • How much contact should we as a business maintain with the employee and the family during such difficult times?
  • Should income protection be made mandatory upon commencement with the workplace?
  • Is income protection already offered as part of the individuals super contributions?
  • Do we as a business have a personal injury/ management plan in place?
  • Is it acceptable to discuss life expectancy with employees if they choose to remain at work?
  • Is it socially acceptable for employers and colleagues to attend the funeral?

Some points to consider:

Terminal illness

Operational

  • Legal Obligations
  • Policies (i.e. Personal Injury Management)
  • Productivity
  • Financial
  • Privacy
  • Documentation

People

  • Communications
  • Shock/ Grief/ Guilt
  • Workloads
  • Equity/ Fairness (eg. precedent)

Sudden employee deaths

Operational

  • Legal Obligations
  • Reporting
  • Entitlements
  • Productivity

People

  • Communications
  • Shock/ Grief/ Guilt
  • Workloads
  • Management Plan (e.g. replacement)

N4K