View Full Version : Advice needed from the forum

02-11-14, 13:13
Hello everyone, I would be really interested to know what everyone's thoughts where on a comment I received from a JobCentre Plus advisor the other week. I was discussing job interviews and approaches to potential employers when I asked about approaching the subject of my disability, both in the application stage and at interview, she kind of went blank for a moment then said, " if they don't ask you at the interview don't mention you have a disability " ! Now I'm not that knowledgable on all things employment related but I thought any potential employer would have a right and I guess legal requirement to know if a potential employee had a disability?

02-11-14, 17:13
and if you dont mention a disability you clearly had before they employed you, and subsequently dismissed you, you wouldnt be able to shout Equality Act 2010.

03-11-14, 00:13
There again the employer may think 'if he/she didn't tell us about the disability at the interview then what else is he/she hiding?'

I personally have never mentioned it in an application, they can see from my CV that I have had periods off work with health issues.

However; with my two previous jobs I clearly stated at the interview that I had eplipsy and had a fit 4-6 times a year, but I also made it clear that I got sufficient warning of a seizure so that I had time to ensure that myself and and workmates would be in no danger of harm. (I also told them there was no need to call an ambulance, I would be up and working again in about 30 mins).
I got the jobs and was at each for about 10 years so it obviously didn't put them off.

03-11-14, 15:26
Hi everyone, thanks for the comments. Some interesting points raised. I personally think that nukecad has the most sensible solution to this and I shall certainly be following that advice in future. I think it is sensible, open and honest to mention disability and the circumstances around it at the interview stage. On reflection my personal view is that, at interview stage, it gives me the opportunity to communicate the fact that I have actually had to adapt and learn a whole new set of life skills which can be seen or at the very least translated into a positive.

08-11-14, 12:42
I always say its best to disclose, any advisor who thinks different clearly is not living in the real world. If your in a wheelchair for instance, its pretty damn obvious that you won't be reaching any high shelves. Epilepsy: (I am epileptic and would always declare cuz if not, they will not be happy chappies) And yeah i have lost a job cuz of employers ignorance on that score.
Disability is a part of your life and its no use pretending like is isn't to others.

sea queen
08-11-14, 14:10
How wrong this person was to encourage you into a deception to any future possible employer.

09-11-14, 10:12
There is no duty to make reasonable adjustments if an employer did not know and could not reasonably have known you were disabled (schedule 8 paragraph 20 Equality Act 2010 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/schedule/8)).

Generally speaking, an employer or potential employer is prohibited from asking about your health, but I think it puts the trust relationship on the wrong footing to refuse to answer reasonable questions about your disability. In some circumstances, employers are allowed by law to ask questions about health (see section 60 Equality Act 2010 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/section/60), especially section 60(6)).

I would have no alternative to disclosure because my disability is obvious (a powerchair announces itself rather effectively), but if your disability is more hidden, it is, to some extent, up to you what you say and when you say it. I would still be minded to make reasonable disclosure. As nukecad says, if you can explain what effects your health will have and how this can be dealt with in the workplace without impinging greatly on your work, that helps everyone.

As you say, lonelylad13, you can turn dealing with disability to an advantage, by explaining how it has made you adaptable and taught you new skills that are likely highly relevant to the workplace.