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  4. Support for Employees Who Continue Working during Cancer Treatment

2017 Vol.4
Support for Employees Who Continue Working during Cancer Treatment

2019/04/01

Recent years have seen a growing number of employees who want to work while undergoing cancer treatment. This trend is partly attributable to shorter hospital stays and rising survival rates as a result of medical advances. Amended Cancer Control Act, which was enacted in 2016, requires employers to consider continued employment of patients with cancer. In response, companies and hospitals have begun providing support for patients who continue to work while undergoing cancer treatment. Some companies have introduced various measures including paid medical leave, flexible work arrangements, and relevant procedural manuals. Also, systems are being set up so that consultants from the cancer consultation/support centers located at nationally designated cancer hospitals can provide advice on continued employment. In this context, we conducted a questionnaire survey to understand the situation of employees who continue to work while undergoing cancer treatment and to clarify factors at the workplace that facilitate their work. The results show that encouragement to complete daily tasks within regular working hours, ease of communication with superiors, and ease of consultation about the disease are important factors in making those employees feel needed at their workplace. There are several important aspects of promoting support for employees who continue to work during cancer treatment. Companies should not only reexamine the ways in which their employees work, but also show their intent to support both treatment and work in cases of illness, and companies should create a culture in which employees can easily seek consultation. Also, hospitals must provide information from the standpoint of the patient’s continued employment, such as the schedule of upcoming treatments.

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