My view, and I haven't been tested on it yet, would be not to disclose my illness until I was in a position where the job was offered or the interview stage. But I'll be honest and say that I have only had to apply for one job when I was undergoing treatment and I disclosed my illness at interview stage. The employer, fortunately, liked me and gave me the job, waiving any concerns about time I may have off. I guess I may have been lucky but also think it's harder for someone to turn you down when they've looked you in the eye than on an application form. I also think job interviews are more about being liked by the employer than ability to do the job. A basic ability is essential but someone who is decent and likeable is going to win over a person with tons of qualifications and a bad attitude towards people (I hope!).
It also seems pretty unfair to have to disclose your illness on an application form. I mean, as well as disability maybe they should have tick boxes for "undergoing relationship breakdown" and "dream of travelling" or "addicted to illegal substances". In a work context these also strike me as kinds of dis-ability!
It is a moral dilemma, though. It sticks in the craw lying about your job history. I do understand your dilemma. I wish the law would come along to make it illegal for prospective employers to aske for disclosure of medical history on application forms. That would support the discrimination laws and prevent employers from exploiting this loophole. There's a difference between someone like you with a genuine case and someone who can't get out of bed in the morning. You deserve a chance to be heard and if the job application process doesn't allow that then maybe your need to make your own opportunity somehow. Maybe you could put the sick days down but appeal to their humanity by attaching an explanatory note concerning your illness. Or maybe just lie! What we need is a cancer patients union - i'm only half joking!
Anyway here's a DWP site on the disability discimination act. It may provide some interesting pointers although it's been dumbed down from when I first read it. There are some contacts on there who may be able to advise you better than me though! All the best to you.
I am also in UK, so maybe you can understand my predicament. As I said I have declared I have a disability on the application forms of those where I havent reached interview stage. To be honest 1 was with a well known supermarket ( I have actually completed their application forms for my son who in turn got an interview but I didnt get that far once I ticked to disability box, cant prove it but there you go. The other one asked how many days off sick I had had in the last year - I stated 5 but hence once again not selected for interview.
This is an interesting one. In the UK they've recently introduced new legislation which effectively makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee on the grounds of health or disability. As far as I know, the law hasn't been tested in court so there's currently no ceiling on the payouts. I wholeheartedly support this law. I'm currently employed. If however I became unemployed for whatever reason I wouldn't mention my illness until I'd been offered the job. This prevents an employer from saying I'm unsuitable or someone else was more suitable as a way of dodging this law. Its not my fault I have cancer and basically it can happen to anyone.
If the law didn't exist, like Rosemary, I'd probably declare my illness in the hope that my employees would sympathise with my predicament.I guess when I think about it its a lot to expect a company to take on.
I had my cystectomy last october and went back to work in March and have worked my cajones off ever since. I like to think what my company have lost in the short term they will get back in kind.
A good question for the '"Ethicist" in the Sunday Times.....Do you presently have any insurance....a husbands insurance....anything? I wouldn't tell him if he hasn't asked...however when it comes to the Insurance Company they may deny you on a pre-existing condition.........and that sucks...but they get away with it all the time. Pat
This is a very good question. First things first. You need to check insurance policies for the new employer and find out if they have a waiting period for pre-existing conditions. I know my employer requires a 6 month waiting period to pay for any pre-existing conditions, so if you are going to depend on insurance to pay for your medical, this is something you need to know. Some companies require a full year. So, if that is not an issue, then let's move on....
Whether to tell your employer? :-/ To be truthful, it's none of his business, as long as you have sick leave available, then the sick leave is yours to take as needed. However, if it were me, "Honest Abe" that I am, I would probably tell him up front, so that he wouldn't be blind sided if something major happened down the road.
On another note, taking one day off for a 6th month cancer check up shouldn't be an issue for any employer with any kind of heart.....
Age - 55
T1 G3 - Tumor free 2 yrs 3 months
Dx January 2006
After 4 years of running my own business I have had enough and decided to close my shop down. I have been offered a salaried job (yipee holiday & sick pay) and its something I want to do however my future employer hasnt asked me about my health so I havent told him. The problem is \I am due to go in for my 6 month check next month. I thought I could get round it by saying I had commitments on certain days that had already been booked but I cant get a date from the hospital. I have spoken to them and obviousely they are sympathetic and usually deal with people who have already retired so these issues dont arise. Any ideas about which way I should go. I feel if te employer knew my situation then the job wouldnt be on offer although they are not allowed to do that. Each application I have filled in I have been honest when asked about my health and days off sick in the last year and haent even reached interview stage.
I get really fed up with all this and just want to move on.