Going back to work after cancer treatment

You may be concerned about how your employer and co-workers will react, and if there will be questions about your ability to perform your usual role. You may consider returning to work gradually, increasing your hours and duties as you become stronger, or you may feel ready to resume your old workload.

All employers are legally required to make changes (known as reasonable adjustments) to accommodate the effects of an employee’s cancer diagnosis – see Workplace rights. This may mean, for example, that your employer allows you to return to work in stages, is flexible with start and finish times, gives you time off to attend medical appointments, or provides ergonomic work tools.

It’s a good idea to speak with your GP, cancer specialist or an occupational physician about whether you are able to undertake your usual tasks. Your employer can request a medical examination to show you are fit for work or to identify any changes they need to make to accommodate your needs. They don’t have the right to request full unrestricted access to your medical records.

Learn more about:


Does my employer have to take me back?

Your employer should allow you to return to work if you have a medical certificate saying you’re fit to return to work, and you can perform the essential parts (inherent requirements) of your job with reasonable changes to the workplace.

Your employer may not have to accommodate the effects of the cancer diagnosis and treatment if they can show that any proposed changes would cause them unjustifiable hardship or that you will still not be able to carry out the essential parts of the job even if changes are made.

If you are unable to carry out your previous role, your employer may offer a rehabilitation scheme to train you for another role. Your employer is only required to offer you a different role if the cancer is work-related

Work Assist is a free government program. It helps people in danger of losing their job because of illness, injury or disability stay with their current employer. Call 1800 464 800 or visit jobaccess.gov.au for more information. If you have life or income protection insurance, check if it includes rehabilitation cover to help you return to work.


Preparing to return to work

There are things you can do to prepare to return to work:

  • maintain a healthy lifestyle – exercise regularly, eat healthy foods, do enjoyable activities, and take time for yourself each day
  • live as if going to work – get up at your regular work time, dress in your work clothes, practise travelling to work, and do tasks similar to your work tasks
  • get help becoming work ready – see an exercise physiologist, occupational therapist, physiotherapist or rehabilitation specialist.

Click on the icon below to download a PDF booklet on cancer, work and you


Printed copies are available for free - Call 13 11 20 to order

Instructions for downloading and reading EPUB files

Apple devices

The iBooks application must be installed on your Apple device before you can read the EPUB.
Different ways to download an EPUB file to your Apple device:

  • email EPUB files to yourself and transfer the attachment to iBooks.
  • copy EPUB files into DropBox (or a similar service) and use the DropBox app to send them to iBooks.
  • open EPUB files directly from Mobile Safari and open them in iBooks, where they are saved automatically by downloading the EPUB from the website.

Need more help? Visit: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4059

Kobo

To download an EPUB file to your Kobo from a Windows computer:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • select “Open folder to view files” to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

To download an EPUB to your Kobo from a Mac:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • open your “Finder” application.
  • select “Kobo eReader” from the listed devices to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, probably in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

Turn on your Kobo and your EPUB will be located in “eBooks”, while a PDF will be located in “Documents”.
Need more information? Visit: http://www.kobo.com/help/koboaura/response/?id=3784&type=3

Sony Reader

To download an EPUB file on your Sony Reader™:

  • ensure you have already installed the Reader™ Library for PC/Mac software
  • select the eBook you want from our website and click the link to download it.
  • connect the Reader™ to your computer.
  • open the Reader™ Library software and click “Library” in the left-hand pane and select the eBook to view it.

Need more help? Visit: https://au.readerstore.sony.com/apps_and_devices/

Amazon Kindle 2nd Generation devices

EPUB files can’t be read on the Amazon Kindle™. However, like most eReaders, Kindle™ 2nd Generation devices are able to display PDFs. We recommend that you download the PDF version of this booklet if you would like to read it on a Kindle™.
To transfer a PDF to your Kindle™ via USB cable from your computer or Mac:

  • download the PDF directly onto your computer.
  • connect the USB cable to your computer’s USB port, and the micro USB end of the cable to your Kindle™. Note: the Kindle™ won’t be available as a reading device while it is connected to your computer until it has been disconnected.
  • open the Kindle™ drive and several folders will appear inside. The “Documents” folder is where you will need to copy or drag the PDF to.
  • safely eject your Kindle™ from your computer and unplug the USB cable. Your content will appear on the Home Screen.

Kindle also provides a Kindle Personal Documents Service that allows users to send documents as an attachment directly to your eReader. For more information on this service, visit http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=help_search_1-1?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200767340&qid=1395967989&sr=1-1
For more information on accessing a PDF on your Kindle™, visit www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle, log in to your account and click on Personal Document Settings.
Need more help? Visit https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200375630

Android and PC

You can also download and open eBooks on Android devices and PCs with appropriate apps or software installed. Suitable eReader apps for Android include Google Play Books, FBReader and Moon+ Reader. Suitable software for PCs include Calibre and Adobe Digital Editions.


This information was last reviewed in November 2019
View who reviewed this content
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