- Cancer Information
- Practical concerns
- Cancer, work and you
- For workers
- Working during treatment and recovery
- Leave entitlements
- Managing work and treatment
Managing work and treatment
Learn more about:
- If possible, take a few hours off instead of the whole day.
- Try to schedule treatment sessions so you have more recovery time (e.g. late in the day or before your days off).
- Explore working from home. Not having to commute may help you feel less tired.
- Let co-workers know about changes to your work hours.
- Write down the plan you and your employer have agreed on, and then both sign it.
- If you feel overwhelmed, don’t let your performance suffer too much before re-assessing your work arrangements.
- Look for tools to help you work remotely, e.g. using a smartphone to get your emails, copying files to the cloud, or working on a laptop.
- If you are a new employee, ask your manager or human resources department if there is a waiting (qualifying) period for paid personal leave.
- Check with your employer if you can “cash out” your annual leave and any conditions that apply. Some awards and agreements don’t allow this.
- Give as much notice as possible before taking leave.
- Combine personal leave with annual leave and long service leave, if necessary.
- If you don’t have enough paid leave, ask your manager if you can take unpaid time off.
- Know your rights. It is generally against the law to dismiss someone for taking leave for illness.
- If you believe your employer isn’t giving you the correct amount of leave, check your entitlements. Contact the Fair Work Ombudsman on 13 13 94.
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.
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