Your cancer

Living with the disease

The patient's environment

Cancer and work

The impact of the disease on working life

With earlier diagnoses, the decreasing age of retirement and the illness becoming chronic, more and more of those involved are concerned by cancer.

Must I stop working if I have cancer?

It is not compulsory to stop your work in case of cancer. On the contrary, it is demonstrated that continuing work allows you to keep a social ink associated with a better experience of the illness when your physical state allows.

If you decide to continue working, the work role can be arranged according to your new limits: part-time therapy, resorting to the ease of remote working, change of role, etc. These rules also apply in case of returning to work after being off sick.

In case of heavy treatment, physical and/or psychological impact of the illness, stopping work can be preferable, but this is not an irrevocable decision and this can be adapted over time in line with your oncologist and according to your wishes.

The company doctor is also a contact of choice in what you do, and they can support you in your choices. Like any health professional, they are bound to professional secrecy and can impose arrangements to your role and/or your workload onto your employer.

Am I obligated to inform my employer about my diagnosis?

No, in case of stopping work being prescribed, you must inform your employer about this as quickly as possible, but the cause of stopping work does not have to be revealed.

However, treatments can lead to repeated absences which can be difficult to understand for those at work without any explanation. It can sometimes be preferable to approach the subject as broadly as possible to preserve your quality of life at work and to prevent being isolated.

The Labour Code protects the employee from measures taken with respect to their health condition: dismissal, redistribution of tasks, refusal of promotion or training, etc.

How can I conciliate treatment and work?

As outlined above, your employer and the company doctor can help you to arrange your role. In addition, treatments can be adapted to what you do in your life. Do not hesitate to highlight your professional constraints at the start of your treatment, so that your work hours are adapted, etc.

How can I manage the financial impact?

In case of stopping work or arranging work, the financial repercussions can be heavy. First, your rights must be respected, which is often not very well known. For example, the so-called “waiting” period can only apply once (per period of three years). The recognition of the “disabled worker” status can also be a help in certain cases.

Finally, the social department of the establishment which looks after you, but also the associations like La Ligue Contre Le Cancer (The League Against Cancer) can be a great help(