Monday 29th April saw the Rail Forum Midlands (RFM) community return to the House of Commons for the 2019 Parliamentary Reception. Once again 100 RFM member companies joined the Rail Forum team, board directors and MPs for an afternoon of networking on the House of Commons Terrace. However, this year, members also had the opportunity to commit to supporting their employees should they face a terminal diagnosis during their employment by signing up to the TUCs Dying to Work Charter.

The Charter, set up by the Trades Union Congress, encourages companies to consider the support needed by employees with life-limiting illnesses and pledge to protect their positions for as long as required. The Charter was first brought to our attention by our Parliamentary Reception host, Pauline Latham MP, who’s constituent, Jacci Woodcock was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2012.

A number of companies took the opportunity to formalise their commitment to supporting their staff and signed the Charter while attending the RFM Parliamentary Reception. Between Porterbrook, Resonate, Qinesis and Institution of Railway Operators over 500 employees are now protected by the pledge, bringing the total number to 1 million to date. A number of other companies have also committed to sign the Charter in the near future.

The BBC documented the occasion, writing of Dying to Work ambassador, Jacci Woodcock ‘She has now become the face of the Dying to Work campaign to give terminally ill staff more protection. Ms Woodcock said she wanted a change in the law to be her legacy’.

The Rail Forum team and directors would like to thank our host, Pauline Latham MP and all those who helped to make this year’s Rail Forum Parliamentary Reception another resounding success. We of course extend a special thanks to the companies who signed the Charter on the day. It was a true demonstration of our rail community working to protect and support each other; something all industries should strive for.

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