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12/03/18
A first: the consequences of cancer are recognized as a handicap
It is the labor court of Brussels that made this judgment. An employer is convicted for not wanting to reintegrate a young woman back from a long sick leave due to cancer. This is the first time that a Belgian judge considers the lasting effects of cancer as a handicap. The employer should have made reasonable accommodations to allow one of her employees to return to her job with an appropriate schedule in this case.
 
The situation is therefore analogous to a case of discrimination protected by law.

As Unia ( Belgian Center for Equal Opportunities and the fight against racism) said in their press release: 
 
"Everyone knows someone with cancer. To fight against this disease is often to be left out of society. Suffering a second set aside, professional this time, is truly traumatic, "says Patrick Charlier, director of Unia. "And this is not an isolated case. Employees who are absent because of long-term illness often see their relationship with their management deteriorate, not to mention that they are sometimes pushed to the exit. A recent Dutch study shows that 57% of former cancer patients experience difficult reactions from their employer. "
 
For Unia, employers must invest in inclusion, focusing on the individual's will and talents rather than seeing it through their disability or illness. "Employees are loyal if they can return to work in good conditions after an absence or long-term treatment, without fear of dismissal, and with the flexibility of their management. Everyone wins, "concludes Patrick Charlier.

Read the judgment