- Cancer Information
- Practical concerns
- Cancer, work and you
- For workers
- Information for working carers
- Talking to your employer
Talking to your employer
You aren’t required to tell your employer that you are a carer. However, talking to your employer about your caring duties may help them to understand and accommodate your needs. It may also help you access carer’s leave and flexible working arrangements.
Learn more about:
Before talking to your employer, investigate the policies your workplace has for employees with caring responsibilities or what your award says.
You and your employer might discuss:
- the impact of your caring role on your work commitments
- taking time off or setting up flexible working arrangements
- whether the caring role is likely to be short term or long term
- ways your employer may be able to support you
- the benefits for your employer if you stay in your position
- who else at work should know about your situation.
If you are thinking about resigning, talk to your employer. They may not want to lose you and may suggest some options to help you remain at work that you hadn’t thought about.
If you tell your co-workers about your caring role, they may be a source of support or provide some ideas for how the team can adapt to your changed needs. Some of your fellow employees may also be working carers. However, if you prefer to keep your caring role confidential, your employer needs to respect your wishes.
It’s hard to get back into the workforce. I never gave leaving work a second thought, but now I’ve got to focus on rebuilding my own life. It’s like going out in the world for the first time.
Kerryann White, Manager, People and Culture, Cancer Council SA; Nicola Martin, Principal, McCabe Curwood, NSW; Jane Auchettl, Coordinator, Education and Training Programs, Cancer Council Victoria; Craig Brewer, Consumer; Alana Cochrane, Human Resources Business Partner, Greater Bank Newcastle, NSW; Shona Gates, Senior Social Worker, North West Cancer Centre, North West Regional Hospital, TAS; Dianne Head, Cancer Nurse Coordinator, Metastatic Breast Cancer, Crown Princess Mary Cancer Centre Westmead, NSW; Alex Kelly, Talent Acquisition Business Partner, Aon, NSW; Prof Bogda Koczwara AM, Senior Staff Specialist, Department of Medical Oncology, Flinders Medical Centre, SA; Sharyn McGowan, Occupational Therapist, Bendigo Health, VIC; Jeanne Potts, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Victoria; Michelle Smerdon, Legal and Financial Support Services Manager, Cancer Council NSW. We would also like to than the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions of this title.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.