When do you tell a new employer about having Lupus

I am curently job hunting, after being made redundant at the end of October.

Does anyone have any advise on when best to tell a future employer about having Lupus and RA,

Flare ups are reasonabley well behaved at the moment, (shh don't want to speak to soon ) aches yes but not to bad,

Is it best to tell them at the interview stage or when you are offered the job

Any advise would be very much appreciated

6 Replies

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  • Under new rules in the Equality Act 2010 you do not have to say anything unless they ask. You are also classed as having a disability under the Equality Act and are therefore protected. Read your rights and join a union incase you are ever discriminated against. Good luck x

  • Hi Russell, Thanks for the advice will start reading up on my rights. Guess if I start having bad flare ups, in new job they will have to know,

  • There is no ‘one size fits all’ answer: you will need to make a judgement call about the best time to tell your employer. Your decision will of course be influenced by the type of work you do and whether, or how much, your lupus affects your ability to do the job. You may think of yourself as ill rather than disabled, but having a long-term fluctuating illness which adversely affects daily life may be regarded as a disability under the Equality Act 2010.

    It is particularly important to consider telling your employer if you think you may need some help, now or in the future. This can avoid the possibility of your employer treating any future problems with your work as a disciplinary issue. You are legally protected against discrimination on the grounds of disability from the first day of your employment, provided that you have told your employer about your condition . So there is no need to delay telling your employer until you have one year’s service (the point at which most other employment protections apply).

    Some people can feel guilty about not being able to fulfil their role as well as they used to. This is a perfectly normal reaction, but it is also important to adapt. An employer’s obligation to make reasonable adjustments is an on-going one, so it can be reviewed if your condition changes

    As a general rule, you should be upfront with a prospective employer about the fact that you have lupus. However, it is not a requirement and some people choose to wait and see how the recruitment process goes before deciding whether to tell them or not. Many organisations have used health screening processes as part of their recruitment process, however, as part of the recent changes in the Equality Act, employers should, generally, not ask candidates to complete any health questionnaire, or attend a medical, until they have made a formal job offer. Employers may still ask candidates if they have any disabilities that would require adjustments being made to the recruitment process. Employers may also ask specific questions to establish whether or not an applicant will be able to carry out an “intrinsic” function of the work, however, such questions should be clearly relevant to candidates. If, after a job offer has been made, you are asked specifically about your health, you must of course answer truthfully, and discussions at this point in the process should include reasonable adjustments that may be made to the role. A new requirement for employers to make reasonable adjustments is for them to provide an auxiliary aid in circumstances where a disabled person would, but for the provision of the auxiliary aid, be put at a substantial disadvantage in comparison with people who are not disabled.

  • Hi Paul, Thanks for your reply, certainally allot to think about, but as you say being upfront from the begining is probably the best route.

  • Hi Lupydragon,

    I'm really glad you asked this question because I have been wondering for a while what to do. I've recently been offered a position in a company and I have to undergo a medical questionnaire. I didn't tell them at the interview stage because it never came up and I wasn't sure how to bring it up/ if it was a good time to bring it up.

    Now I have been offered the job and have to do the health assessment, I had always planned to answer truthfully about my condition because you can't lie about that! But I have been unsure how this would affect my work life after, or even if I would have a work life... But its good to know that employers have obligations to help.

    Thanks a lot!

  • Hi there.

    I have 2 jobs. Both within the NHS. With one I was never asked about my health during the recruitment process, and I found it really awkward to find the right time, as a new employee, to let my employer know of my numerous medical conditions. Luckily they were fine about it and I've been there a year with no issues and no time off work. I've been lucky.

    With the second job after the interview process, with the job offer came the medical questionnaire. I found myself answering 'yes' to almost every question in the 4 page document! I then had to undergo an occupational health medical with a doctor. I did get nervous about this, but as Paul has previously explained the doctor explained that with my medical conditions I was covered by the Equality Act and she needed to ascertain whether as an employer they needed to accommodate any adjustments to help me in my place of work. But in the end we agreed I didn't need any as I'd take regular breaks etc. And so I started that job too. It seemed daunting, answering such a long questionnaire and going to see a doctor, but in the end it wasn't a barrier to me getting the job.

    I hope this helps.

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