Taking time away from work to go for a cancer screening appointment can be harder than it should be. The North East London Cancer Alliance (NEL CA) is determined to change this. They have created a resource pack to support employers and employees to overcome barriers to screening. One key barrier is that people feel they can’t take time off work to attend a screening appointment, even if they are invited to.

There are three national cancer screening programmes in the UK to which people are invited depending on their age: Bowel, Breast and Cervical cancer screening.

A key advantage of screening is that cases can be diagnosed sooner, while missing appointments can lead to late diagnosis which often means more serious disease and a longer time away from work for treatment and recovery.

Employers can play a key role in their employee health by adopting a culture which encourages staff to attend their screening appointments, which in turn can make employees feel valued and their health prioritised. At the City of London Corporation, for example, staff can take paid time off work to attend these appointments.

To affirm your commitment to this, NEL CA is inviting you to make The Pledge:

“We at ‘…’ pledge to ensure our staff are aware that they can take time off for cancer screening appointments. Our staff’s health and well-being is very important to us. We believe in encouraging a healthy workforce so have signed up to the North East London Cancer Alliance’s campaign to support a healthier workforce.”

Read more here to see how you can actively support and amplify this in your own workplace.