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  • FIRST POST
    Skintgirlx
    Pre-employment Medical Questionnaire - Do I disclose?
    • #1
    • 30th Apr 11, 1:57 PM
    Pre-employment Medical Questionnaire - Do I disclose? 30th Apr 11 at 1:57 PM
    Hi there,

    Just want some advice regarding this issue. I have been unemployed for nearly a year now, and have now fortunately managed to get a good job!

    I have had the offer in writing, both via email and in a letter which I have accepted via email. Now the contract has come and with various forms, as you would expect, but the medical questionnaire is still entitled "Pre-employment Medical Questionnaire", I thought these were now defunct however reading up on the new legislation it seems that employers can ask these questions after an offer has been made.

    My issue is, I am Bi-Polar, and I have been very upfront with this in previous job applications and guess what? I didn't get offered a single job! Now I haven't said anything, and guess what I got offered.

    I am just wondering what to put as one of the questions is do I consider myself disabled under the Disability Discrimination Act? well yes, it is considered a disablement.

    The thing is if I tell them, I am worried they could withdraw the offer... they are a big company, so I am sure they could find a way.

    Obviously if I dont tell them, and they find out then they can dismiss.. so dont know what is the best thing to do.

    Work has never been the direct cause of my illness, it has always been a major stressor like bereavement or divorce... I have been well for nearly year and also I was only diagnosed last year so have worked in the past...

    Not sure what to do and would appreciate other people's opinions/advice.

    Thanks.
Page 1
    • ska lover
    • By ska lover 30th Apr 11, 2:11 PM
    • 3,003 Posts
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    ska lover
    • #2
    • 30th Apr 11, 2:11 PM
    • #2
    • 30th Apr 11, 2:11 PM
    I would be tempted to wing it darling and not tell them. I know there is a lot of bad judgements from some people re bipolar, my sister has the same issues as you - and she doesn't disclose it.
  • Emmzi
    • #3
    • 30th Apr 11, 2:25 PM
    • #3
    • 30th Apr 11, 2:25 PM
    They have offered you the job and cannot now retract on grounds of a disability unless you would need excessive adjustments.

    I am guessing (from friends experience although you may be different) that occassionally you may need a short notice day or two off, or adjusted hours sometimes.

    If you need these and it comes out later that you lied on your form - that is reason enough ot dismiss, irrespective of your health etc. The lying is the dismissable offence.

    So I would tell them.
    Debt free 4th April 2007.
    New house. Bigger mortgage. MFWB after I have my buffer cash in place.
  • iamana1ias
    • #4
    • 30th Apr 11, 2:29 PM
    • #4
    • 30th Apr 11, 2:29 PM
    I would be tempted to wing it darling and not tell them. I know there is a lot of bad judgements from some people re bipolar, my sister has the same issues as you - and she doesn't disclose it.
    Originally posted by ska lover
    Until you have an episode in work and they haven't a clue how to handle it. (True story - happened with a colleague who lived alone. She was sent home to avoid disrupting the rest of the workforce and was in such a daze she was hit by a train. )
    I was born too late, into a world that doesn't care
    Oh I wish I was a punk rocker with flowers in my hair
  • wantsajob
    • #5
    • 30th Apr 11, 2:48 PM
    • #5
    • 30th Apr 11, 2:48 PM
    I think the consideration is whether it is likely to cause any issues in the workplace, no matter how minor (people can be extremely bothered by even minor things). I would guess as you have a diagnosis, that it is. Think of it the positive side, if the position suddenly becomes unavailable after you send the medical questionnaire, you have grounds for an employment tribunal to look into.
    • ska lover
    • By ska lover 30th Apr 11, 5:44 PM
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    ska lover
    • #6
    • 30th Apr 11, 5:44 PM
    • #6
    • 30th Apr 11, 5:44 PM
    Until you have an episode in work and they haven't a clue how to handle it. (True story - happened with a colleague who lived alone. She was sent home to avoid disrupting the rest of the workforce and was in such a daze she was hit by a train. )
    Originally posted by iamana1ias
    oh jesus! awful story
  • iamana1ias
    • #7
    • 30th Apr 11, 5:47 PM
    • #7
    • 30th Apr 11, 5:47 PM
    oh jesus! awful story
    Originally posted by ska lover
    Indeed. Had she disclosed her condition to her line manager, they could have prepared themselves for the episode, enabling her to remain in work while her family and medical team were notified, and the appropriate treatment provided. As she didn't, her manager was completely unprepared and their only option was to react quickly and remove her from the workplace.

    You're only protected if you disclose.
    I was born too late, into a world that doesn't care
    Oh I wish I was a punk rocker with flowers in my hair
    • sharnad
    • By sharnad 30th Apr 11, 6:14 PM
    • 8,562 Posts
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    sharnad
    • #8
    • 30th Apr 11, 6:14 PM
    • #8
    • 30th Apr 11, 6:14 PM
    May make it worse
    Later on if you don't tell them and it comes
    out
  • MrsManda
    • #9
    • 1st May 11, 3:58 PM
    • #9
    • 1st May 11, 3:58 PM
    You should answer the questionnaire honestly and tick yes under the DDA. They cannot revoke your job offer on the strength of your answers unless your condition means you're medically unfit for the role - for example, working as a scaffolder when you've got uncontrolled epilepsy

    As others have said, it is much better for your employer to be aware rather than having it sprung on them if you have problems whilst working. Especially as at that point you may be incapable of explaining what is happening.

    I wouldn't worry too much, I have had to disclose medical things for all the jobs I've done and my employers have always been supportive. Usually it's a matter of having an occupational health assessment just so that the employer can do their legal duty of care.
  • donquine
    I am just wondering what to put as one of the questions is do I consider myself disabled under the Disability Discrimination Act? well yes, it is considered a disablement.
    Originally posted by Skintgirlx
    My medical condition may be considered a disability by other people, but I don't consider myself to be disabled as I can manage my condition, so I always answer this question as no. "Do you consider...?" is subjective, so I'm not lying by any means. It wouldn't be grounds to revoke a job offer or sack me, because it's not an objective question, like "Do you have any unspent convictions?"

    If you don't need any 'reasonable adjustments' to do your job, I don't think you have a duty to disclose your medical condition to anyone. If however you think you may need some adjustments at some point and/or you have needed adjustments in the past, then you should answer yes and hope for the best.

    I can't see it going against you at this stage, but I do understand why you would want to keep it quiet.
    • recci
    • By recci 2nd May 11, 2:23 AM
    • 219 Posts
    • 37 Thanks
    recci
    Personally I wouldn't disclose it! No chance! Whats the worst they can do if they ever find out?..sack you!
    • skattykatty
    • By skattykatty 2nd May 11, 8:10 AM
    • 385 Posts
    • 531 Thanks
    skattykatty
    I was offered, and accepted, a job nearly a year after my diagnosis of depression. As far as I know I sailed through the interview and practical stuff and everyone was happy to have me on board. I then recieved the medical questionnaire and answered honestly throughout. I was then telephoned by occupaitonal health and asked a few more questions. Once the bumph was sent to my line manager, she asked to see me and there was an implication that I had, somehow, deceived them. What rot! They didn't ask the questions. I told them no lies. My manager was also trying to persuade me to let other people know in case something happened! Like what? You don't actually go to work all perky one day and suddenly 'get depressed'! ANYWAY....

    Upshot is: tell the truth. The job is yours. You are an adult. You now have an understanding of how the condition works and how to access support and self-support. As others have said, if you do need time off to help you manage the condition then it's all clear and above board.

    By the way, I am still in the same job nearly four years on! So hopefully that's knocked the edges of some prejudice.
    • Needhelpsaving
    • By Needhelpsaving 2nd May 11, 8:36 AM
    • 815 Posts
    • 3,299 Thanks
    Needhelpsaving
    Employers are still allowed to request this information under the equalities act 2010, but a) only AFTER an offer has been made and b) to use the information to make reasonable adjustments for the employee, not to make a decision.

    I have put a link below to a gov website as there is a whole PDF on there about this;

    http://www.equalities.gov.uk/equality_act_2010/equality_act_2010_what_do_i_n.aspx

    Check out the PDF called 'Equality Act 2010: What do I need to know? A quick start quide to the ban on questions about health and disablity during recruitment'

    People have also been talking about reasonable adjustments - this is a broad term and covers anything from back supports to reduced working hours and time off for appointments. I would not withhold the information, but be positive 'yes, i have bi-polar, I am on x medication and me, my family and my GP know the signs if my health is deteriotating, but this hasn't been the case for x time'.

    I have been in a simliar situation and have had two jobs since my last depressive episode - I have been up front and have had no issues.

    Hope this helps
    Last edited by Needhelpsaving; 02-05-2011 at 8:46 AM.
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