By Michael O'Connor, BBC News
quote:Some cancer patients are facing unfair dismissal and discrimination at work, a BBC investigation has revealed. Some have even been sacked after being refused time off for treatment.
A new law which came into force at the end of last year has given much stronger protection at work to people with serious illnesses like cancer. But the Disability Rights Commission said 200 cancer patients had called its helpline this year complaining of problems at work. The commission said these cases are the tip of the iceberg and many more seriously-ill patients are still unaware of their rights.
Disability law - who is covered?
The Disability Discrimination Act, which came into force in December 2005, gives people with cancer and other serious diseases such as multiple sclerosis the right not to be treated unfairly at work because of their condition.
Under the new laws employers must make changes to people's working arrangements, such as time off for treatment or reduced working hours.
These changes - called 'reasonable adjustments' - should ensure cancer patients can return to work in some capacity. But many people say they have not been offered this option.