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Hovis has become the first business in the bread category to sign up to the ‘Dying to Work’ charter developed by the Trade Union Congress (TUC).

The charter supports employees with terminal illness and also aims to make employers more aware of its impact on workers.

Those signed up to the charter are committed to providing terminally ill employees with job security.

The charter is supported by several organisations and has been signed in conjunction with four recognised unions: the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ Union (BFAWU), Unite the Union, United Road Transport Union (URTU) and Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW).

“For those who are given a terminal diagnosis, it is important that they can focus on themselves and their families without the stress of needing to worry about their employment,” said Hovis HR director Pete Hill. “This is a practice that we have naturally adopted, so I did not hesitate in agreeing to sign the charter when asked to do so by our four unions, BFAWU, Unite the Union, USDAW and URTU.”

TUC deputy general secretary Paul Nowak added: “Your job should be the least of your worries when you get a terminal diagnosis. I’m delighted that Hovis have shown real leadership in this area, working with unions to guarantee fair treatment for terminally ill workers.”

Nowak said there were now one million workers covered by the ‘Dying to Work’ charter across the country.

BFAWU national president Ian Hodson said: “Hovis is the first employer in our industry to sign up for the charter and one of only a few private sector employers to do so, and I hope today’s signing encourages other employers to provide the same support moving forward.”