The challenge of return to work in workers with cancer : employer priorities despite variation in social policies related to work and health

de Rijk, A ORCID:, Amir, Z, Cohen, M, Furlan, T, Godderis, L, Knezevic, B, Miglioretti, M, Munir, F, Popa, AE, Sedlakova, M, Torp, S, Yagil, D, Tamminga, S and de Boer, A 2020, 'The challenge of return to work in workers with cancer : employer priorities despite variation in social policies related to work and health' , Journal of cancer survivorship: research and practice, 14 (2) , pp. 188-199.

PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (425kB) | Preview


This study explored employer's perspectives on (1) their experience of good practice related to workers diagnosed with cancer and their return to work (RTW), and (2) their perceived needs necessary to achieve good practice as reported by employers from nine separate countries. Twenty-five semi-structured interviews were held in eight European countries and Israel with two to three employers typically including HR managers or line managers from both profit and non-profit organisations of different sizes and sectors. Interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. A grounded theory/thematic analysis approach was completed. Employers' experience with RTW assistance for workers with cancer appears to be a dynamic process. Results indicate that good practice includes six phases: (1) reacting to disclosure, (2) collecting information, (3) decision-making related to initial actions, (4) remaining in touch, (5) decision-making on RTW, and (6) follow-up. The exact details of the process are shaped by country, employer type, and worker characteristics; however, there was consistency related to the need for (1) structured procedures, (2) collaboration, (3) communication skills training, (4) information on cancer, and (5) financial resources for realizing RTW support measures. Notwithstanding variations at country, employer, and worker levels, the employers from all nine countries reported that good practice regarding RTW assistance in workers with a history of cancer consists of the six phases above. Employers indicate that they would benefit from shared collaboration and resources that support good practice for this human resource matter. Further research and development based on the six phases of employer support as a framework for a tool or strategy to support workers with a history of cancer across countries and organisations is warranted.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** From PubMed via Jisc Publications Router **Journal IDs: eissn 1932-2267 **Article IDs: pubmed: 31758518; pii: 10.1007/s11764-019-00829-y **History: accepted 23-10-2019; submitted 15-07-2019
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of cancer survivorship: research and practice
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 1932-2259
Related URLs:
Funders: Autoritatea Natională pentru Cercetare Stiintifică, KWF Kankerbestrijding, European Cooperation in Science and Technology
SWORD Depositor: Publications Router
Depositing User: Publications Router
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2019 09:42
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 03:37

Actions (login required)

Edit record (repository staff only) Edit record (repository staff only)


Downloads per month over past year