WIRRAL Council has signed up to a charter which aims to help employees who become terminally ill at work.

The authority is the latest to sign up to the Dying to Work Voluntary Charter, following the likes of Rolls Royce, Royal Mail and the Co-op.

It is part of the TUC's wider Dying to Work campaign which is seeking greater security for terminally-ill workers where they cannot be dismissed as a result of their condition.

It was taken forward by the TUC after the case of an area sales manager from Derbyshire, Jacci Woodcook, who was forced out of her job after being diagnosed with terminal breast cancer.

The TUC is asking employers to sign up to the voluntary charter to stop cases like Jacci's happening in the future.

The council's cabinet member for finance and resources, Cllr Janette Williamson, said: "Ensuring our staff are treated well and fairly is really important.

"It doesn't take a charter for us to treat our staff with dignity when they are in such difficult circumstances but by signing this I hope we can set a positive example for employers across the borough."

TUC North West's acting regional secretary Jay McKenna, said: "Your job should be the least of your worries when you get a terminal diagnosis.

"I'm delighted that Wirral Council have shown real leadership in this area, working with unions to guarantee fair treatment for terminally-ill workers.

"We now have a million workers being covered by the Dying to Work charter across the country, and we expect more employers to commit in the coming months.”

David Jones, Unison branch secretary for Wirral Council, said: "This is a welcome step by the authority and will reassure members who, if the worst did happen, know they will be treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.”

Branch Convener for Unite the Union, Caroline Morgan, added: "I'm pleased to see Wirral Council step up and make this commitment to its employees.

"Being diagnosed with a terminal illness is devastating and anyone in that position is extremely vulnerable – it's vital that their employer acts in the worker's best interest and I hope other employers in Wirral will follow suit."