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Dying to Work Campaign #dyingtoworkEU

News item

Monday 24 Sep 2018

The European Parliament has recently adopted the report ‘Pathways for the reintegration of workers recovering from injury and illness into quality employment‘. The report includes the first explicit endorsement of the Dying to Work campaign and a call on the Commission to address the lack of data concerning terminally ill people in the workplace. Specifically:

  1. Recognises that people who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness retain the fundamental right to work; further recognises that these individuals face a unique set of challenges relating to their employment, distinct from the challenges facing other patient groups, as there is often little time for them to adapt to their changing conditions and for workplace adjustments to be made; commends initiatives such as the Dying to Work campaign for raising awareness about this specific set of problems; encourages employers to maintain as much dialogue as possible with employees who have received a terminal diagnosis, to ensure that all necessary and possible adaptations can be made to allow the employee to carry on working if he or she so wishes; is of the opinion that, for many patient, remaining in the workplace is a personal, psychological or economic imperative and central to his or her dignity and quality of life; urges the Member States to support the reasonable adaptation of workplaces to the unique set of challenges facing this group of people; calls on the Commission to tackle the lack of data on the employment status of people with cancer and to support the collection of better data, comparable across Member States, in order to improve support services for them;

The full report can be found here.

This is a first formal recognition of the work of the EU  campaigns and a hugely positive step forward in highlighting this important set of issues.

The Dying to Work campaign would like to see terminal illness recognised as a ‘protected characteristic’ so that an employee with a terminal illness would enjoy a ‘protected period’ where they could not be dismissed as a result of their condition.

Such protection would give every person battling terminal conditions the choice of how to spend their final months and the peace of mind to know their job was protected and the future
financial security of their family was guaranteed.

Potential effects of losing your job following a terminal diagnosis:

  • Reduced income and loss of financial security.
  • Loss of stimulation, dignity and normality associated with being in employment.
  • Undergoing an inevitably stressful and upsetting HR procedure.
  • Loss of ‘Death in Service’ and ‘Life Assurance’ payments to family members and loved ones.

To find out more about this issue please go to: https://www.dyingtoworkeu.org/

Digital copyright vote a step backwards for an open internet

News item

Thursday 13 Sep 2018

Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, expressed disappointment with the outcome of the 12th September vote on copyright rules in the European Parliament, where a number of proposals to reconcile the interests of creators with those of the online world were rejected.

Ms. Childers was the co-sponsor of a number of cross-party proposals which attempted to bridge that gap, particularly by simplifying licensing and facilitating the enforcement of publishers’ rights but without hindering the right of others to share summary snippets.

These also included provisions to prevent the systematic use of upload filters online while ensuring that large platforms that share video and music also share revenue with rightholders.

Speaking from Strasbourg after the vote, Ms. Childers said:

“I have had serious doubts about the implications of this copyright proposal for the online environment and for the freedoms individual users enjoy and that is why I voted to block it before summer.

“Unfortunately, even the attempts we made since to safeguard rightholders without causing widespread damage to the interests of individual users were rejected by a majority.

“As adopted in Parliament today, draconian provisions on liability for copyright infringement by individual users will force most platforms to preventively apply uploading filters so as not to fall afoul of the law.

“Likewise, this proposal fails to give users and platforms the legal certainty they need in order to quote and share snippets of news.

“I fully appreciate and support all creators’ right to remuneration for their work, but similar attempts in national jurisdictions have failed to make them better off.

“It is now the turn of EU national governments to have their equal say on this proposal. I hope they will revisit these issues and listen to the many academics and internet experts who oppose it, as I cannot support it in its current form.