Am I stupid being upfront with potential

new employers about unruptured aneurysm just had a job offer withdrawn on this basis?

I was diagnosed back in April with an unruptured aneurysm. Since the I have moved from England to Scotland, I was put back to the bottom of the NHS lists so only saw a consultant at the beginning of September. My problem is they have suggested that they will operate but I need another ct angiogram I had this 3 week's ago. I found out this week that I now need an angiogram. The aneurysm doesn't affect me day to day so I have started job hunting as I ready need to get back to work. Today I have had a job offer I was upfront and told them that I had to go for the angiogram and that would mean 2 days max off. They have now withdrawn the offer as they feel I wouldn't be able to cope with the fast pace of the business and that I would need a lot of time off work?!! I just need some advice I know if I don't get back to work soon I will go crazy.

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28 Replies

  • in a word yes....procedure is that you fill in the application form interview and then if there is a health questionnaire anywhere in there that is relevant then answer it truthfully. I believe I am correct in saying employees and prospective employees cannot be discriminated against on the grounds of health. As a former employee and manager of a local authority the procedure was applications go straight to human resources, any applicants that meet the criteria I set for the job were sent through to me to arrange an interview, then if all went well an offer was made. There was a health questionnaire, which I did not see, and if there were any health concerns the candidate was sent for a medical, as it is NOT for a lay person to make an employee suitability heath decision. If it was deemed that the candidate was suitable for the post, then it is the employers duty to make reasonable adaptations for the employees health/disability needs, and given your condition is long standing if my memory serves me correct, it is classified as a disability. Having said all of this, if it is a small employer forget the above as I have no idea if employment and disability legislation is applied in the same way. Have you spoken to your consultant? as if they were to write a letter I am sure this would carry some weight?

  • Thanks this is what I thought on the discrimination. I had filled out the medical questions honestly but I wanted to be honest with them. They said I wouldn't pass a medical which isn't true I function just like anybody else. I'm waiting on my consultant calling me. I can't let this stupid bubble stop my life.

  • this does sound like discrimination to me, personally i think it is appalling they have no idea what you can and cant cope with

    i would pursue this further

  • Hello! Sadly it sounds as though you have been discriminated against. The employer is not 'qualified' to make medical decisions. This is the role of Occupational Health Practitioners. Sadly this is a current trend to either prevent people from gaining employment or to 'manage them out' of employment. Good luck.

  • Hi 2ndtimeround, my aneurysm was march this year & ruptured enough to give me a brain haemorrhage, had my 1st check up brain scan under mild anesthesia in September.Had Stent inserted in March, and check up shows still some unruptured aneurysm left. However the Neurosurgeon is happy for me to continue with life as normal as it is for me, with another cat scan in one year. I'm retired now but still do household accounting and much typing -ok typing is now not always as good but thank goodness for spell check. Also drove 3 weeks ago for a 17 day break with family, just over 500 kms each way and now arranging a move to the area with the same one way journey coming up again in 4 weeks time, after I've packed everything up.

    The worst problem I think, is that people have their own expectations of you based on ignorance of Brain injury/trauma, as to what they think or expect you can or cannot do. Too often they are surprised at what you do when they don't expect it and the other way round is if you make a mistake and can't do something as easily as they would, they are surprised at that and again don't understand, also so often based on ignorance and lack of understanding effects of a brain injury.

    Yes it all takes time but sounds like you are also a pretty determined person and young also, so I'm sure you'll get there and overcome your obstacles as well.

    Good luck in your search for a new job I hope it all works out for you and the advice given by others is very sound and experience/knowledge based, so also hope you don't meet any more discrimination. x

  • I came across this discussion tonight 2 yrs after we all replied, so it's really my update from 2 yrs ag plus a recap,

    3 yrs ago this this week, was told I had a blood disorder and had a bone marrow sample taken. December 2012 told I had Myelodisplasia (MDS) The AVM as called in France, haemorrhage & coma for only a few days, followed 3 months later 2013. My reply to this post by 2ndtimearound just above, shows how well I was then in comparison to now, because more and more other conditions, symptoms, slowly & surely started to appear.There is no way now I could or would drive, I'd be a huge danger to myself and other road users here. I can barely walk now,compared to then, my bones and tendons are doing weird things., especially in my feet. Toe middle joints are gradually pulling upwards as tendons fail to keep them flat. Can't buy shoes here that fit me, as feet are too wide and toes bulky, which gives me corns on top of 2 of the upwards joints. As of 2014, I had an ear infection Oct, Vitiligo June. Cirrhosis around same. Autoimmunity confirmed this year, from Hypothyroidism dx 2000. Still got a cold picked up 3 weeks+ ago. there's been other niggly things I could feel internally or in brain, but nothing has been painful except my feet.

    I did stop taking all prescribed meds last Autum, all prescribed by GP since the Jan after that long drive to new home & car accident 4 days later. It months to get all out of my liver and system. I can still say in all honesty, I've never felt ill, before or after, just had a couple of times I've felt unwell!

    My appetite has returned and I'm eating better (always was only small portions) twice daily with an occasional snack, and more healthily than I have done in 3 + yrs.

    I'm now convinced that not taking the variety of diff meds has helped in that respect and that my research into a lifetime of seemingly inconsequential minor health events, including TB from my father either genetically at conception as a baby or just after birth, and recurring but different infections have had an enormous health impact on my body throughout my life, understanding the health consequences, is as difficult as you all trying to have brain injury effects understood and accepted. We walk we talk, so where's the problem?

  • Hi my sister has been living with an unruptured, inoperable aneurysm for about 7 years now, she has been told many people have them and never know, she is more likely to die from another cause, she is just careful not to tax herself too much. She flies abroad on holiday and it does not affect her ability to drive, until recently she was still working, she is now 67 years old and only found out about the aneurysm when she had an MRI that diagnosed CLL. This sounds like discrimination to me probably born out of ignorance, good luck xxx Janet

  • thanks folks you are all right it is discrimination born out if ignorance. It it what the docs call an incidental aneurysm it was found when I had an mri for tn. It's horrible knowing that it's there it's better not knowing like the thousands of others that don't know they have one. If all prospective employers are going to do the same thing I can forget it. Won't let it get me down hopefully angiogram will be soon and the decision will be made.

    Thanks again x

  • Honesty is always the best policy. This way when you get a job you are covered and so is employer too. If you run into difficulty later involving your condition eg., medical appointments or a legal case they cannot state that they were unaware of your condition. Good luck with the job hunting. Just know that your next employer will be a good and fair one.

  • Thats all I wanted to do was be honest. Hopefully I find the right employer soon or they decide what they are doing to my sleep over (that's how my son describes it) so that I can move on. xx

  • Hi 2ndtimeround,

    Thank you for your post. As usual I think the advice above is great. Employment law is a very complex area but it I think it's worth seeing if this is a discriminatory practice - it certainly does seem extremely unfair.

    I would suggest you call the Equality Advisory Support service on 0808 800 0082 to discuss things with them as at the very least, the employer needs to know if such practices are breaching the law and this will help you know your rights.

    Alternatively ACAS run a very good helpline on employment issues - call 08457 47 47 47.

    I hope this is useful, and you might find our returning to work information helps at this stage - visit to access our returning to work after brain injury factsheets.

    Best wishes,


  • Thank you I will find out where I stand for future jobs. It has really frustrated me to be treated like this but if this is how they treat future employees they are probably not the best people to work for. I have always said what's for you will not go by you.

  • Thanks for this. Just wanted to let you know that ACAS said there was a case of discrimination if I was classed as having a disability. I spoke then to Equality Advisory Support Service the guy I spoke to was really helpful. After discussing my aneurysm and the fact that I have trigeminal neuralgia which may or may not be caused by the aneurysm that fact that I will take medication for a period longer than 12 mths and the possibility of stent which is classed as prosthesis then yes I do have a disability and can appeal against there decision. They have said you don't disclose any medical issues and they should once started ask you then and only then to complete a medical questionnaire. On this basis you would then if need be asked to attend occupational health to assess but since I would pass a medical then what they have done is wrong and I can appeal against their decision. This I believe affects all employers no matter what the size of business. I hope this will be useful to others

  • thats interesting, we own a flower shop and have asked potential employees if they have a disability that we need to be aware of, but that is solely so we know we can accommodate them

    and make arrangements for equipment or support from access to work,

    obviously with me being physically disabled along with the brain injury we do not want to discriminate against people.

    what i find a bit odd is, what if that person has a hidden disability that would affect the job they were doing but they coped ok through the interview, how would that stand, because lets say

    we employed a florist, they would be on their feet all day and come valentines there are extremely long hours built into the contract.

    now if fatigue was an issue, yet we employed that person to do that job, but they could not physically manage it, because of their disability, where would we stand?

    personally i think asking is ok, as long as its not used against that person, but then equally how do you prove it has been used as a reason for not employing them?

  • Sorry I seem to of opened a can of worms on this one. Your not allowed to ask health questions before an offer of a job you can ask if they require any special requirements for interview. Just like not being allowed to ask a person age so you can discriminate against them and stop what has just happened to me. You need to have a look at the Equality Act 2010. Take a look at

    Hope this helps x

  • it's good to know, for what its worth the last staff member we employed was HIV positive, and we asked at interview, but still hired him,

  • That's good to hear. I suppose it's to protect from the ignorant rather than those of us that are open-minded and don't see everything as black and white. And to protect employers from those that will use discrimination as an excuse. Probably not said that right!

  • headway are right you have clear case of discrimination 'disability discrimination act 1995, 'equality act 2010,you should seek legal advice they should not be allowed to get away with it but you were right you do need to be upfront esp if you know you can cope with and do the job!

  • I may contact them directly myself or get somebody to advise them what they have done is not right. Not the type of people you want to work for!!

  • The Citizens Advice Bureau may be able to help you with this or an Advocate. Worth asking Headway if they have an advocacy service or try Neuro-support in Liverpool. Sorry I don't have their number to hand. I could post it to you later. Did ACAS offer to act under their arbitration service?

  • I'm sure there are some laws preventing discrimination of that kind, but unfortunately people still see people differently after hearing things like that.

    If it hasn't ruptured I'd keep that to yourself if I were you, there isn't any physical problem they need to know about.

    I keep my stroke to myself most of the time when it comes to stuff like this, probably wrong of me, but it makes things a bit more even for me.

  • Yeah I have now found out that "Honesty is not always the best policy"

  • Be careful on this one because if something were to happen later and the employer found that you didn't disclose it could leave you in a vulnerable situation - disciplinary/dismissal. Not good for the employment record/references.

  • Thought of contacting Esther McVey MP? It is easy to get in touch. Google her name and her House of Parliament page should come up. There is an email option.

  • Acas will send them a letter to tell them where they have gone wrong and I can appeal against their decision but to be honest not a company I would want to work for but yes need a slapped wrist. I now know that I don't have to disclose until health questions are asked after a job offer, I'm notched type if person that would lie which is why I did what did in the first place and in this

  • Maybe you have had a lucky escape! As you said they are not the type of company for which you would want to work. Don't know which part of Scotland you are in or what your employment field is but I hope you find what you are looking for with a company with ethics who value honesty. It probably doesn't do to dwell, but it is more than annoying that employers can get away with this blatant discrimination. It makes a mockery of the two ticks scheme. Not as easy as the Government seem to think; getting a job when you have a disability and/or long term condition!

  • legally, an employer (under the Equality act )can only ask about a disability (not a health condition) in order to make adjustments for interview or to consider a guaranteed interview if the employer uses the 'two tick disability symbol'. They CAN do a full heath assessment once a job has been offered to you but they would have to justify withdrawing a job offer solely based on your health. EG, if you have uncontrolled epilepsy and would potentially be working at heights or alone, that could be a good reason to withdraw the offer for health and safety reasons.. They should consider making reasonable adjustments and only after these have been considered and it is clear the vacancy will not be suitable (due to health reasons affecting the ability of the employee to perform the duties or because it would be dangerous), can they withdraw the offer. You have excellent grounds to take this further (if you have the energy) as these employers who discrimate so blatantly deserve hauling over the coals- big time!!

  • I have spoken to ACAS and taken advice they will receive a letter sometime this week from me. My aneurysm causes me no problem it's more like my thyroid (which I haven't told them about) or my tn to cause problems. I have pose a link today for other's that were naive like me about the Equality Act x

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