Breast cancer is more common than many realise – and with around 55,000 women and 370 men diagnosed each year, it’s almost certainly something that UK employers need to know about, because the way in which you support your team can make a massive difference to whether they attend the routine screenings that detect the disease early. A new initiative by Breast Cancer Survivor and multi-award winning HR Consultant Julie Grabham, founder and owner of JG HR, seeks to help employers deliver the workplace support needed to reduce breast cancer deaths – and asks them to sign the JG HR Pledge.
The importance of supporting employees to attend screening appointments
In November 2022, Julie was diagnosed with breast cancer. The diagnosis was discovered by a routine mammogram as part of the breast screening programme and Julie’s invasive tumour was removed in February 2023. Julie had no signs, symptoms, or reason to think she may have breast cancer and undoubtedly without attending this routine screening, Julie’s future would be very different.
Julie is not alone; breast cancer is picked up through routine breast screening for a number of women and it shows how vital this free screening service is.
Sadly, many women do not attend routine screening appointments – and one of the reasons for this is that employees will not ask or can’t afford to take time off from work to attend the screenings. Even if an employer says they will support an employee to attend routine breast screening, that message is not being heard in workplaces.
We need to change the message!
The JG HR Pledge
Through her business, JG HR Solutions Limited, Julie is hoping to get employers to sign up for free to The JG HR Pledge, with employers getting on board to help reduce the number of appointments missed for work reasons.
The JG HR Pledge will get employers to actively support employees to attend breast screening by:
- Giving paid time off to attend routine breast screening appointments.
- Talk about cancer in the workplace with the support of professionals, e.g. Macmillan, Breast Cancer Now, Maggies.
How to sign up
Any business in the UK can sign up to the JG HR Pledge – it is completely free and simple to sign up – just send Julie a message with the company logo. Employers will then receive a certificate to show they are part of the JG HR Pledge.
Julie advises employers to update their workplace polices to reflect the paid support for routine breast screening – and if you need help to do this, Julie will provide an update / new policy for any business that signs up to The JG HR Pledge, in exchange for a donation to any cancer charity.
Watch #HRFrommyshed for more details – and if you want to have a chat, support the campaign or sign up to the JG HR Pledge, please contact Julie via [email protected]
Let’s make a difference.