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Workplace accommodations

What is a job accommodation?

Sometimes, in order for a cancer survivor to be able to return to their workplace, parts of their job may need to be changed.

A job accommodation is an adjustment or change to the tasks, work schedule or environment that allows an employee with a disability to safely and productively do their job. You may not think of cancer as a disability. However, if cancer’s effects or treatment restrict your patient’s ability to fulfill any aspect of their job, then cancer may be considered a disability under human rights legislation. Visit our section on human rights for more information.

Examples of job accommodations:

  • Graduated return to work (beginning part time and gradually increasing to full time)
  • Changing work schedules (e.g., starting later in the morning and finishing later, time off for medical appointments, moving to part time)
  • Flexible work (e.g., more breaks, employee can vary hours, work at home)
  • Quiet room to rest
  • Furniture or equipment (e.g., adapting a keyboard, chair that supports back)
  • Assistive technology (e.g., personal digital assistant for appointment reminders, hands-free phone)
  • Modifying the work environment to remove barriers (e.g., moving desk closer to bathroom, replacing steps with ramp)
  • Changing job tasks (e.g., reorganizing work process, replacing tasks with less physically demanding ones, delegating some duties)
  • Transferring to another job in the same workplace


View work accommodations for cancer-specific issues