Workplace advice

Free legal advice for people affected by cancerCancer Council helps people affected by cancer to access free workplace advice, where they would otherwise be unable to do so due to cost, illness or other barriers.

Cancer Council does not provide advice directly. We will connect you with a volunteer human resources advisor in the community who will provide advice and assistance. Usually you will receive advice over the phone or email.  If you speak a language other than English, we can arrange a telephone interpreter for you.

HR advisors provide advice on employment issues to patients and carers before, during and after treatment.

For people who are experiencing issues with their current employment, HR advisors can provide advice on the following:

  • Disclosure of a cancer diagnosis and confidentiality obligations
  • Flexible working arrangements
  • Leave and payment of salary during sickness leave
  • Managing expectations of employers and colleagues
  • Discrimination at work.


For people who would like to return to work following a cancer diagnosis, HR advisors can provide advice on the following:

  • Strategies when looking for work, including obligations to tell a new employer about past cancer
  • How to explain the gap in a CV due to your treatment when applying for a job
  • Preparing and reviewing a CV and interview techniques.


We can also connect you with  financial planners and financial counsellorssmall business accountants and lawyers if you need assistance.


How do I access these services?

Call Cancer Council 13 11 20 Information and Support.
Hours: Monday to Friday 9am -5pm
Translator service available for languages other than English – Phone: 13 14 50

Or speak to a social worker at your treatment centre and they can refer you.

Do I have to pay?

Advice is provided by volunteer human resources advisor and is free.


How we helped Shane return to the workplace

Shane stopped work as a policy communications manager to undergo treatment for prostate cancer and, having been given the all clear by his doctors, is now keen to re-enter the workforce on a full time basis.

Shane had been applying for jobs for several months without success, so came to Cancer Council for assistance in applying for positions that reflect his extensive experience in the policy communications and marketing sector. A volunteer HR  advisor was able to help Shane to improve his interview skills and advise on how to explain to prospective employers the ‘gap’ in his CV due to his 6 months out of the workforce during treatment. He also received advice with regards to his obligation to disclose the details of his cancer.



Work and cancer – resources for employees and employers about cancer in the workplace
Information and downloadable resources to help employees manage their work situation during and after treatment.
Resources to help employers navigate cancer in the workplace.

Information for working carers
Information about balancing your work with caring for someone with cancer, financial assistance and support.

Legal and financial issues booklets and fact sheets
Downloadable pdfs with information around common legal, financial and workplace issues for people affected by cancer.