Employment and should i tell them about this inconvenience condition call Fibro

Evening All,

I am going through the process of redundancy. I have been with my present company 7 years and they have been very patient when it comes to my hospital appointments. Now my dilemma is do i tell my potential new employer that i have on going health issues, as in advertise the fact when i have to fill in a job application or leave it till i am employed and past my 3 month review? I have mentioned it on a couple of applications but i haven't even been considered for an interview. I am due to go for an informal interview on Friday, so do i mention it then, or if i am successful in a recall mention it then?

Any help in this matter will be gratefully received as i believe that i will be penailised because of what i have got, through no fault of my own. I know that cant refuse me on the grounds of my illness as that would go against the Disability Act 2010, but i know they wont use that excuse. Beginning to panic at the thought :(

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15 Replies

  • In my book, you definitely do not say anything in an initial application. I suspect you'd never get through any door if you do.

    Not sure what the best thing to do is after that.


  • For my application, the health part was a separate form that went straight to the county council occupational health department and was kept confidential from the school to which I applied. This helps to prevent discrimination but also helps to protect the employer from unfounded accusations of discrimination where there was none. I think that is how it should be done everywhere. My personal opinion of course :)

    Only a risk assessment was sent to the school to say that I may, at times, find it difficult to hear and that should be taken into consideration; and that I should not climb up stepladders in case of a seizure. That is all they are aware of. As everything else (apart from thyroid) was under control, the OH nurse didn't feel it necessary to let the school know. She did, however, say that if I became unwell again I should contact OH.

  • Hi Rod

    thought so, the job office told me I had to declare it, but not convinced, hence my question.

  • I believe that you don't have to declare it unless it would affect your ability to do the job. You would probably have to complete a health questionnaire at some point for your occupational health department though and you may find you have to be honest. This should only be to make sure that your needs are catered for at work, if you have any special needs, and not to decide whether you are fit to do the job. It also shouldn't be shared with anyone, as far as I am aware, unless there is a need (for example, if you have low blood pressure it might not be a good idea for you to go up ladders). I don't know if this is still the case, but when I applied for my previous job I was asked why I hadn't been in work previously. I told them I had been unwell but was fine now. The manager interviewing me asked me what was wrong and the other person said to him that he wasn't allowed to ask me that and I had no obligation to answer. They took me on regardless but I do think you need to be careful.

    I think, in most cases, omission is fine if you haven't been asked officially but do not lie. If you are found out on a lie, things can not go well. If you don't think it affects your ability to do your job then perhaps there is no point mentioning it.

  • Technically, they may not discriminate against you under the Equality Act and what's more - your previous employer had a statutory obligation to make Reasonable Adjustments for you under the EQA. This could include things like time off in work for medical appts. acknowledgement of a higher level of sickness, etc. If they dont - it's disability discrimination.

    Having said that, I would say nothing until I'd got the job. See what the culture is like first.

    There is NO legal obligation for you to declare a disability, or to state your ethnicity so do not let anyone tell you otherwise.

  • So basically leave that part blank, when filling in an application forms?

  • I think it's a case of damned if you do and damned if you don't. If you don't declare it, and then have to take time off because of it, they can sack you because you didn't disclose it at interview. If you do declare it, then you might not get the job because of it. BUT in that case you can challenge them for disability discrimination, if you have good reason to believe that is the reason you weren't appointed. I have a friend who didn't declare a progressive muscle disorder, and she's just had to grit her teeth and do her work regardless of how she feels. But she would now like to take early retirement on health grounds, and there's no chance! So, I wouldn't know how to advise but all the best with the interview anyway. don't they have a health questionnaire you have to fill in or a medical you have to take? That would usually come after you've been short listed and may be best left til then?

  • Well Claris, I haven't seen your form but my thoughts are, If you don't mention health problems (or ant other negative points.) The company might think you are being a little dishonest. Could you put something like,I have fibro,it usually does not effect my work but I might occasionally need time of for medical appointments. Good luck,hope you get it.x

  • Hi, Claris! - I have had similar problems. I have FM, and years ago was facing either redundancy or transfer. I was looking at a job with the council, but realised I would have to ask for specific details of physical aspects of the job to see if I could manage it. It also turned out there was a 6 month probation period, and the conditions were written in if I did not disclose relevant details including health, and it turned out I could not do the job as was, they might sack me for non-disclosure. I also had to face the fact that if I went in questioning whether I could do the job, they would not take me on, and so I took the transfer.

    If you think you are capable of doing the job physically, then if it was me, I would tell them I had the condition, but have managed my present job - and maybe mention hospital appts - as per Beaton above.

    I am facing vol redundancy now, fortunately only vol at present, and having to go over the whole issue again ... very frustrating!

    Best wishes

  • Keep a low profile, stay Mum & get lucky ;)

  • Do not state it, it will go against you. :) Wait til you get the offer and then mention it, because if they pull the offer they are on dodgy ground DDA wise..I did it and my new employer has supported me starting on a 4 day week for a few months :)

  • first thing is to get through the door and impress them, you could mention it at interview, at that stage they cannot discriminate so easily. Basically, as a former manager, I would make allowances for illness for a while (I have had staff with ME, leukaemia and with MS), but if I thought they were messing around when they were at work (just one of them) I would pick it up under performance. The others were fine and allowances were made, such as saying they were on leave when they were going to the hospital so that they would not need to discuss their condition with anyone else.

  • I started my job 6 months ago and didn't tell them until the day I started. They were fine about it but have extended my probation because of me having four days off in that time. But I have never told an employer until I start just in case.

  • Under the Equality and Human Rights Act of Oct 2010 employers should no longer ask on an application form if someone has a health problem or a disability which effect their day to day activity. Nor should they ask how many days you have had off sick in the last year or your age. You do not have to tell an employer prior to being offered a job about disabilities either. However, they can ask this on a equal opportunities monitoring form which should be detached from the application form prior to sifting for those to be interviewed. The exception to this is those employers who have signed up to the 2 ticks disability symbol and are saying that they are positive about employing people with disabilities. If you are applying to for a job with one of these employers and you say that you have a disability then as long as you meet the minimum requirement for the job then they should offer you an interview. You could tell them at the interview stage but if you only need reasonable adjustments rather than any specialist equipment then you can wait until you have been offered the job.

    An employer can ask if someone is capable of doing the job, for instance if they are looking for a roofer they can ask if someone has a fear of heights or vertigo. If they have a medical questionnaire you should not be asked to complete this until after you have been offered the job. You have to fill this in honestly because if you don't and it comes to light later it could lead to dismissal. It is similar to criminal convictions. The medical questionnaire could then use to discuss reasonable adjustments or assessment by Occ Health. If you might need some adjustments to the job, then once you have been offered the job, if you haven't told them before hand, would be the time to tell them especially if the disability/health problem is not easily spotted.

    Sorry this is so long


  • Evening all, can't type much today, because the cold is affecting my hands. It would appear to be mixed opinions on this one, I was offered my job in Manchester, but because I am a single parent my daughter takes priority, hence the redundancy. I have declared it on a couple of applications and not sure if that was the reason why I didn't get even considered for an interview. One place said I didn't meet the criteria, me personally I think that's just a get out clause.

    However, I will take each one as it comes and I would like to thank you for your help in this matter.

    Claire xx :)

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