You may not be sure whether it's wise to let your employer know that you have cancer. You may want to seek advice from a professional counsellor who understands employment rights for people living with cancer.
Consider telling your employer if:
- You may need time off for treatments or because you don't feel well
- You're eligible to take Family and Medical Leave
- You're applying for a new position
You might be considering not confiding in your employer if:
- You're afraid you won't get a raise or promotion
- You don't want people to feel sorry for you
If your company has an employee assistance program (EAP), you may want to take advantage of it. The EAP counsellors can help you deal with personal problems that could affect work and your overall wellbeing. EAP services are private and confidential.
The Canada Labour Code provides for leave for illness or injury, to all employees who have completed 3 months of consecutive employment with the same employer. Generally, the Code provides protection against dismissal, lay-off, suspension, demotion or discipline because of absence due to illness or injury. An employee is protected for any absence not exceeding 12 weeks. The Code provides job security only. There is no provision for paid leave of absence. Some employees, however, may be entitled to cash benefits under the Employment Insurance Act.
You are also protected from discrimination in the workplace due to your illness by the Canadian Human Rights Act.