Plan ahead and agree a return-to-work plan with your employer. This will not only help you in a practical sense, it will also provide you with peace of mind about re-entering the workplace. Don’t be afraid to voice any concerns you may have about your ability to do your job. Your employer has a responsibility to help ease you back into the workplace and provide any necessary support.
If, for whatever your reason, your employer is not being helpful in this respect, consider approaching your trade union to help you negotiate. The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has specific policies with regard to employees who have or have had cancer and the workplace. In Ireland, each company has different policies in place for those who have had or have cancer. Now is the time to enquire about what’s available to you as an employee.
It’s a good idea also to schedule regular meetings with your boss in advance. These will help you monitor your progress once you’ve returned to the workplace. It will also provide you with an opportunity to discuss any issues that may arise and work on finding a solution together.
It’s worth considering a phased return to work, which would allow you to work part-time at first, perhaps working mornings only or three days per week, and therefore easing you back into the workplace. It means you won’t find yourself worn out from work or unable to do your job properly and you can slowly build up your working hours as your energy increases. This may include giving you time off to attend hospital for treatment, allowing you a flexible work schedule or making temporary or long term adjustments to your role.