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    • pug_in_a_bed
    • By pug_in_a_bed 12th Oct 16, 5:49 PM
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    pug_in_a_bed
    Sickness details and application forms
    • #1
    • 12th Oct 16, 5:49 PM
    Sickness details and application forms 12th Oct 16 at 5:49 PM
    Is it legal to ask about sickness on application forms ? I thought that the equality act made this unlawful, but not sure - that employer's are not supposed to ask until you are offered a role about how much sickness you have had and the reasons for it. I've googled but not very clear if I am barking up the wrong tree.

    I just wondered if anyone could clarify this - the application form specifically asked how many instances of sickness in the last 2 years and what these were for.

Page 1
    • Takeaway_Addict
    • By Takeaway_Addict 12th Oct 16, 7:48 PM
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    Takeaway_Addict
    • #2
    • 12th Oct 16, 7:48 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Oct 16, 7:48 PM
    Its not illegal but highly unrecommended by employers as they would have to be able to justify why asking if taken to a tribunal.
    Don't trust a forum for advice. Get proper paid advice. Any advice given should always be checked
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 12th Oct 16, 8:17 PM
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    sangie595
    • #3
    • 12th Oct 16, 8:17 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Oct 16, 8:17 PM
    Actually, in all but a few circumstances, it is unlawful to ask such questions.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/85013/employment-health-questions.pdf

    Lots of employers don't realise it though. And about as many don't care. And there is little you can do about it.
    • pug_in_a_bed
    • By pug_in_a_bed 12th Oct 16, 9:08 PM
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    pug_in_a_bed
    • #4
    • 12th Oct 16, 9:08 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Oct 16, 9:08 PM
    Thank you, I feel sick to my stomach - I shouldn't have answered it. I've been off sick with depression in the last 2 years which is what I answered. I didn't get an interview, and can't help worrying this is going to affect any job I go for from now on.

    • pug_in_a_bed
    • By pug_in_a_bed 2nd Nov 16, 2:44 PM
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    pug_in_a_bed
    • #5
    • 2nd Nov 16, 2:44 PM
    • #5
    • 2nd Nov 16, 2:44 PM
    Hello again
    Sorry to raise this again, but I've been trying to get a straight answer from a number of sources including ACAS. I'm still waiting for my union to come back to me.

    Would anyone be able to comment based on the questions actually asked in the application?

    So as not to drip feed, I answered honestly that I had had 3 months in the last 2 years due to depression, and that I am on medication for this. I can't help but thinking I may have got an interview if I had left this section blank, or they had not asked me. I'm desperately searching for jobs as the moment and am terrified that having depression is going to stop me.

    __________________________________________________ _____
    Do you have any significant health problems which may affect the way you do this job?

     Yes No

    If Yes please give details and let us know of any adjustments to the workplace you may require. ??will make reasonable adjustments to assist you.

    How many times have you been absent from work due to illness in the last 2 years?

    How many days have you been absent from work due to illness in the last 2 years?
    Please give reasons for absences.

    Are you currently receiving medical treatment?
    If Yes please give details.
    Last edited by pug_in_a_bed; 02-11-2016 at 2:49 PM.

    • pug_in_a_bed
    • By pug_in_a_bed 2nd Nov 16, 2:50 PM
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    pug_in_a_bed
    • #6
    • 2nd Nov 16, 2:50 PM
    • #6
    • 2nd Nov 16, 2:50 PM
    done ! What a rookie mistake lol

    • robatwork
    • By robatwork 2nd Nov 16, 2:55 PM
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    robatwork
    • #7
    • 2nd Nov 16, 2:55 PM
    • #7
    • 2nd Nov 16, 2:55 PM
    You're never going to know why you didn't get an interview.

    If the employer took the decision that your sickness was going to rule you out, they wouldn't tell you that in any case.

    You also wouldn't qualify for much if anything by way of compensation so I suggest you just move on - you got the answer which was "No in almost every case" but your remedy would be worse than the "illness".
    • pug_in_a_bed
    • By pug_in_a_bed 2nd Nov 16, 3:15 PM
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    pug_in_a_bed
    • #8
    • 2nd Nov 16, 3:15 PM
    • #8
    • 2nd Nov 16, 3:15 PM
    I know, I'm not looking to get anything/go anywhere - if I get a straight answer from the union I may email to make the company aware those questions are no longer legal. I've applied for lots of jobs in the last six months and none have asked any medical questions. I guess I'm concerned as I'm feeling like I'll never get another job at the moment because of this stigma I have now as having suffered with poor mental health.

    Obviously I won't be working there anyway...
    Sigh.

    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 2nd Nov 16, 4:35 PM
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    FBaby
    • #9
    • 2nd Nov 16, 4:35 PM
    • #9
    • 2nd Nov 16, 4:35 PM
    To be fair, what they could do is offer you a conditional offer, then ask for that information from your references (and they could request the latest employer) and then retract the offer.

    The outcome would be the same but with you having built your hope an expectations, or worse, having already given notice to your current employer.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 2nd Nov 16, 5:19 PM
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    sangie595
    To be fair, what they could do is offer you a conditional offer, then ask for that information from your references (and they could request the latest employer) and then retract the offer.

    The outcome would be the same but with you having built your hope an expectations, or worse, having already given notice to your current employer.
    Originally posted by FBaby
    They could. But then you could take them to a tribunal and they would have to prove that the decision was not discrimination. And I hope nobody hands in their notice without a confirmed job offer!

    OP this boat has sailed. In future, if asked, you leave the section blank. What they don't read they can't pay attention to and if your application is good enough for the job you'll get an interview. I know lots of people who do this and it has never been a problem. What you don't do is pick a fight about it not being a question they can ask. just don't answer it.
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 2nd Nov 16, 8:44 PM
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    TBagpuss
    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/85013/employment-health-questions.pdf

    It's not normally permitted. Unless one of the special circumstances apply the questions should not be asked,.

    As per this leaflet, you can't refer to a tribunal but you can report the company.
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 3rd Nov 16, 11:14 AM
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    Undervalued
    They could. But then you could take them to a tribunal and they would have to prove that the decision was not discrimination. And I hope nobody hands in their notice without a confirmed job offer!

    OP this boat has sailed. In future, if asked, you leave the section blank. What they don't read they can't pay attention to and if your application is good enough for the job you'll get an interview. I know lots of people who do this and it has never been a problem. What you don't do is pick a fight about it not being a question they can ask. just don't answer it.
    Originally posted by sangie595
    If only that were true!

    Sadly, if an employer flouts the rules and ask the question a blank answer will almost certainly be treated as having something to hide.

    It is wrong but very very difficult to prove.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 3rd Nov 16, 1:00 PM
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    sangie595
    If only that were true!

    Sadly, if an employer flouts the rules and ask the question a blank answer will almost certainly be treated as having something to hide.

    It is wrong but very very difficult to prove.
    Originally posted by Undervalued
    Not my experience of the matter, but of course that might happen with some employers. But if you have something to put on there that toy think will put them off anyway, then a risk worth taking?
    • pug_in_a_bed
    • By pug_in_a_bed 8th Nov 16, 9:50 PM
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    pug_in_a_bed
    Just thought I would update. I got in touch with the Equality & Human Rights Commission, who have agreed it does not appear to be a legal use of those questions. They have asked me to send all the paperwork and emails including the letter advising me I hadn't been shortlisted. So we'll see what comes of it. They were very helpful.

    • cr1mson
    • By cr1mson 9th Nov 16, 6:46 PM
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    cr1mson
    I have left out a similar section blank and I got offered the job even after when asked why I hadn't completed the form I just said oh sorry I had assumed you had sent me an old application in error. I declined the job offer as got a better one at same time as the application form put me off.
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