Severn Trent has become the first water company to sign up to the Trades Union Congress (TUC) Dying to Work charter, which aims to protect employees with a terminal illness.

The campaign, was launched two years ago by Jacci Woodcock from Derbyshire, with support from Mid Derbyshire MP Pauline Latham.

Eon was the first company and utility provider to sign the charter in April 2016.

Liv Garfield, chief executive of Severn Trent, said: “It’s incredibly important to support any colleagues who have received such devastating news – no-one should have to worry about keeping their job if they have a terminal diagnosis and that’s why we were more than happy to sign up to the charter.

“Whether a colleague wants to reduce their hours or work normally for as long as possible, it’s vital that they can expect the help and support of their employer which is exactly what we intend to offer at Severn Trent.”

Woodcock began her campaign for a change in the law after she claims she was forced out of her job when she was told she had stage four incurable breast cancer.

“From my own experiences, I know just how important it is that everyone should be given the choice of whether they want to carry on at work and, if they do, for as long as they want,” she said.

Latham added: “I’m delighted that Severn Trent has agreed to sign up to the charter, joining a number of other major organisations in the Midlands which have recognised just how important it is to support their employees during such a difficult time.”

There are now more than 50 organisations signed up to the charter including Legal and General, Santander, the London Fire Brigade and several local authorities.

It has also gained cross-party support from Labour, the Conservative Party and the Scottish National Party. Currently more than 600,000 workers are covered by the charter.