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OscillateWildly
28-08-13, 12:44
I’m a 27 year old male who has suffered from a chronic gut pain condition for the last 6 years. It’s never prevented me from working or studying full time as it’s mainly managed by pain medication, and employers and my university have been very understanding about flare-ups and sick days.

I don’t have a diagnosis although have undergone every possible gastro investigation and after several years been discharged. I am now under the care of a pain management consultant.

I’ve just applied for a local authority job and been given a conditional offer of employment, subject to various checks. The only outstanding one is an Occupational Health check. I informed them about my health condition on a form that I filled in and gave to HR.

I phoned HR to ask about this test and was told that they could not give me a start date until after it, as they had to wait for Occupational Health to give me the “all clear”. When I asked what this meant, I was told it was to check whether I was “fit to work”.

I had sort of assumed that because of the Equality Act 2010 they wouldn’t be allowed to prevent me from doing the job on the ground of my health. But this is not the impression I got from the HR advisor that I spoke to.

Should I be worried about this? I might have slightly more sick days than average (and I might not, it really depends on my condition) but I know that I am up to working. In my last role, I had two sick days in 9 months (although I have to admit, I did go in to work when I was pretty ill or exhausted a couple of times).

I am stressing now because I have no idea what the test entails. On the one hand, I feel like I should try to downplay my condition so it doesn’t impede my chances of getting the job. On the other hand, I am actually ill and there will be times that I need an employer to be understanding about this.

Any advice about this would be massively appreciated!

Account removed
28-08-13, 19:24
This sounds to me to be perfectly normal they do tend to ask everyone to undergo these medicals for insurance purposes and all employees will undergo it.

A doctor or nurse will give you a basic blood pressure test and then ask you a lot of questions about your health, they will of course do this to everyone, they may then contact your GP which again they would do for everyone.

I would not to be to worried about it.

Lighttouch
28-08-13, 20:51
I agree with treborc. It's a standard procedure that everyone goes through. You've been chosen as you're the right person for the job.

If you think you might face some disabling barriers to carrying out the role let the OH know that way you are protected by law.

Under the DDA's Disability Equality Duty the LA has a duty to remove any disabling barriers. The LA follows the social model of disability not the medical model of disability.

http://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803100515307

Well done for getting the placement I'm sure you'll fit in just fine and good luck.

OscillateWildly
29-08-13, 11:49
Thanks for the replies - feel a bit less stressed about it now. With the whole reasonable adjustments thing, one of the things with my condition is that I sleep horrendously sometimes, and when this happens it would be really useful for me to be able to start late and then make up the hour or two that week (assuming there wasn't anything that I need to be in for right at the start of the day). Do you think this is likely to count as a reasonable adjustment? I have no idea what actually counts as reasonable.

Lighttouch
29-08-13, 14:09
Thanks for the replies - feel a bit less stressed about it now. With the whole reasonable adjustments thing, one of the things with my condition is that I sleep horrendously sometimes, and when this happens it would be really useful for me to be able to start late and then make up the hour or two that week (assuming there wasn't anything that I need to be in for right at the start of the day). Do you think this is likely to count as a reasonable adjustment? I have no idea what actually counts as reasonable.

I think you'll find that the LA operates flexible working and even compressed hours. Some people work a 5 day week in four days. Others start at 10am, which is the latest you can start, just take the minimum amount of lunch time which is 30 minutes and finish at 5.30pm

Flexi-time is really good because if you need to work longer than your contracted hours you can carry them over to the following month and, with your manager's permission, take that time off as a flex day or TOIL - Time Off In Lieu.

You'll be working for one of the best employers in the country. Don't abuse the system as managers carry out 'sickness monitoring' of each employee looking for patterns of illness like phoning in ill on a Monday. The LA isn't soft as it has 'sickness monitoring targets' to meet. Unless it's a disability related illness eg appointment to see doctors, etc try to make it in een if you're feeling lousey. If after an hour of being in work you still feel rough speak to your manager so at least they've seen you made an effort to get in.

You're in a very lucky position and take any opportunity you can to develop your skills that way you'll progress up the ladder.

Things that LAs look for in todays employment market are 'qualities' like - team player, flexible approach to work, good time keeper, good inter-personal skills, approachable, enthusiastic. Anything else can be taught in training sessions.

Don't get comfy in one job. Actively look out or development opportunities by 'acting-up, secondment opportunities - these show management that you are capable of more than the original job you took.