Dalkeith-based employer backs workers’ campaign

Pictured signing the STUCs Dying to Work charter are (L-R): Sharon McGuigan, SQA Accreditation Manager; Grahame Smith, General Secretary of the STUC; Maidie Cahill, SQA Director of Corporate Services; and Susie Hill, SQA Research Manager.
Pictured signing the STUCs Dying to Work charter are (L-R): Sharon McGuigan, SQA Accreditation Manager; Grahame Smith, General Secretary of the STUC; Maidie Cahill, SQA Director of Corporate Services; and Susie Hill, SQA Research Manager.

The Scottish Qualifications Authority has become the latest signatory of the Scottish Trade Union Council’s ‘Dying to Work’ campaign.

Members of SQA’s senior management team, along with colleagues representing the awarding and accreditations body’s trade union members, and the Scottish TUC, signed a charter in SQA’s offices in Dalkeith.

The agreement determines how SQA employees will be supported, protected, and guided throughout their employment following the diagnosis of a terminal illness.

As a signatory of the charter, SQA will formally recognise that colleagues who are diagnosed with a terminal illness require understanding and support, and not additional and avoidable stress and worry.

Representing SQA, Maidie Cahill, director of corporate services, was one of the signatories. Ms Cahill said: “We have always worked hard to ensure that colleagues that receive a terminal diagnosis are supported as much as possible, and the stress caused by such news is not compounded by issues caused by work.

“Being a signatory of the STUC’s ‘Dying to Work’ campaign clearly sets out our commitment; we will ensure that our friends and co-workers have the security of work, peace of mind, and the right to choose the best course of action for themselves and their families and help them through this challenging period with dignity.”

Sharon McGuigan, SQA accreditation manager, and Susie Hill, SQA research manager, representing the Unite union and Unison respectively, added: “We support the STUC’s campaign so that everyone battling a terminal illness has the right employment protection, and has their service benefits protected for the loved ones they leave behind.”

Grahame Smith, General Secretary of the STUC, said: “SQA has always been an employer that has been committed to its staff. By signing the ‘Dying to Work’ charter, SQA is publicly saying that they will support their staff, and that they will treat them, and their families with dignity and compassion at what is likely to be the most challenging point in their lives.”

The campaign, which is being backed south of the border by the TUC, like to see terminal illness recognised as a ‘protected characteristic’ so that an employee could not be dismissed as a result of their condition.