How much protection does the DDA actually give us ?

How much protection does the DDA actually give us ?

How much protection does the DDA actually give us ? Hello to you all

I know that people with cancer are now covered by the Disability Discrimination Act (not that it was ever a particularly powerful tool to fight disability discrimination…but I’ll let that pass for now !).

My question is - at what point are we considered no longer to ‘have’ cancer, for the Act’s purposes ? For example, I have now finished all my treatment (other than tamoxifen) for a primary breast cancer - so I wonder whether I am still protected by the Act. On the other hand, if you are covered until you have been told that you have the ‘all-clear’ then obviously anyone with bc will be covered for ever !! Someone this morning on the radio mentioned that the Act covers people who are being treated for cancer - which is what stimulated what’s left of my brain into pondering this.

Anyone know the answer to this ?



PS… jpoet would have answered this…sorrow.

Don’t know the answer to this one, Kate, and would very much like to. You may well get some replies on the ‘other forum’ if you post this question there. Worth a try.


Hi Kate

I found this on the Cancerbackup site hope the link works (if not type ‘DDA cancer’ into Google & hit return).

From what this says you are covered by the Act after treatment has finished -

“The DDA covers workers who were disabled in the past, even if they are no longer disabled. For example, a worker who had a cancer in the past which has been successfully treated and is now ‘cured’ will still be covered by the DDA even though they no longer appear to be disabled. So, their employer must not discriminate against them for a reason relating to their past cancer.”

Hope this is useful,


Never clear and of course with breast cancer we are never in any case ‘clear’.


DDA working? Have a look at ‘Hello again’ post by Cakelady on the Secondaries forum for a heartwarming story about how her employers are helping her to continue working.


Kate for those of us no longer suffering ill effects or after effects of treatment that impact our physical capabilities the DDA still covers us for descrimination in the workplace. This should mean that employers fears of recurrance etc should not impact our recruitment, conditions of employment, promotion etc…

If you feel you have been discrimminated against, phone them up they are very helpful. I had a franchise for catering at a club and they terminated my contract while I was in hospital. Even though I was self employed I could have a case. Private clubs seem to think they are above the law. I did ask them for a break to get myself sorted out but obiviously they were not keen.
So I would recomen anyone to phone the help line for assistance

Is this in force in Scotland as well. My line manager has informed me that I will, have to pass a medical to prove I’m fit for my post, problem is I’m not fit for the job and not likely to ever be.
I work on a rapid respconce team, this involves driving round the coutny to clients then doing what needs done. Mostly its personal care with lifting involved. we go out alone and are expected to manage. Police and ambulance are not lifting services.
Mostly I’m in the control room coordinating the responce team - unfortunatly I lost most of the hearing in one ear while on chemo. I’m getting worried that I willbe medically paid off - this has happened to other people though as far as I know none of them had cancer.


Yes it does Hi Glo

Yes the DDA does apply in Scotland and your employer will have responsibilities to make reasonable adjustments to enable you to work.

An employer can also require medicals but this doesn’t mean they can just sack you. Unfortuantely recent reserach ny the DRC has shown that employers are sacking women with breast cancer rather than making those adjustments.

I’d strongly suggest that you get some advice…from a trade union or direct from the Disability Rights Commission. (DRC)This link takes you to the Scottish pages. (I think the DRC may soon be changing its name and role so hope this info. is current.)

best wishes


Thanks Jane,
I had a quick look, and it comes into force in December for public service workers.
I expect to get signed back to work before then as I finish rads 1st November.
I’ll just have to hope for the best, or ask GP to let me stay off work until then. My doctor is very keen to get me back to work, I dont know why and I have’nt the courage to ask.

Thanks for info even if I have to go back ,perhaps it might help.
I don’t want a lot . Just to stay office bound and a head set so I can hear the callers. Quite willing to work the shifts but not overtime yet.


Thanks for replies Thanks to all of you who repiled to my question - sorry to be so tardy in thanking you - have been on hols in France and then back to work. Anyway, pleased to see that the DDA seems to offer protection even after treatment is finished.

Thanks again

For Gloria Hi Gloria,

The amendment to the DDA to include ‘from point of diagnosis’ came into force Dec 2005 nationwide.

The DWP has a timescale for some areas of implementation - giving organisations time (Dec 06) to get up to scratch so to speak. But since Dec 05 you have still been covered by the amended DDA.

“Some of the new laws - including the increased protection for people who have HIV, cancer and multiple sclerosis - came into force in December 2005. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) website has more about the December 2005 changes.”

I’ve used this amendment very successfully in my workplace (Scotland).

Good luck with your return to work.

Love Twinkle xoxo

Gloria Hello Gloria,

I don’t know if this is any help, but my wife is a primary school teacher and is experiencing great difficulties with her employers. She has coped so well with everything else that this is the only thing causing her stress.

Anyway, her employer referred her to Occupational Health for assessment where they told her that there will be no way she will be able to work because she will be too weak and sick. This was the day before her first chemo session!!! She was in bits as she was nervous enough about chemo. Anyway, she remained resolute that she wanted to continue working as much as possible as it was a vital source of routine that would keep her going.

However, the school had already replaced her with a new teacher and acted as though she was put out to pasture. She is only 31 years old and only qualified as a teacher last December!

So, to my point. They have tried to make her go to her doctor to get herself signed off of work. But there is no way she will do this because once she does this and signs herself off, she has then taken responsibility for this action and agreed that her employers are right.

A little known fact is that if your work declare you unfit to work, they are liable for indefinite sickness pay. Once you sign yourself off they are no longer liable.

Therefore, she has maintained this course of action and remains determined to not sign herself off as they have to keep paying her. The truth is she really wants to get back to work and do what she worked so hard to get qualified for.

Sorry I have gone on and on, but it makes me SO mad to hear how people are treated. But, this could be why your GP doesn’t want to sign you off. They cannot tell you this information, we only found out about it through her union.

Take care of yourselves today.


for hubby Hi,

I am sure you don’t want to hear this but I understood from other people on this site that the two proffessions that are told not to work during chemo are nurses and teachers due to the fact we have close contact with many bugs and viruses and are suseceptible to them during chemo.

Some employers are awfully insensitive to the needs of their employees. I on the other hand have been blessed with amazing employers who have tried really hard to help me continue working. They habve even agreed to wave their rules on sick pay to continue paying me should I require a further long stint off.

I hope you all get the help you deserve