Recruiter's for Jobs dismissing my needs...

Hi, I am just wondering really whether anyone else has come across difficulty dealing with recruiters/employers regarding their MS.

I am a Website Designer and thankfully with my job I am able to work from home 3 days of the working week, still available between normal office hours it just means I do not need to tire myself out going into the office when I can do the same job from home and in all honesty probably get more work done without the distractions of office chit chat.

I am very happy at my job as they are great with me, never complain when I am unable to work, come in the office when I am well etc so not actually looking for new employment.

I must get 3-4 calls/emails a week asking about jobs, I am sure you know the people who ring you at work, hound you and try and convince you this job is the one you should have and so on. I normally throw the MS card to them and they soon get off the phone but recently I have been thinking of what I will do when I do decide to move on/change jobs as no doubt this day will come.

The last few who have rang and emailed I have let them tell me about the job just to see how they would react, they have tried to sell me it, asked all the things I can do and then at the end I mention about MS. I tell them that I would want a job that can offer home work like I currently do and slightly reduced hours, knowing the job can be done anywhere in the world this is not too unreasonable.

I have had this reply which has angered me a little,

’In all honesty I dont think (company name) can commit to allowing that much time off. If you do think of anyone who might be interested in a position like this feel free to get in touch. We do offer a referal scheme so could be a good way to earn a bit more cash. '

The fact that he put ‘allowing that much time off’ when I am not, I am working from home doing the same job really hit a chord with me.

Basically I was wondering when the day does come to move on would anyone mention this to the recruiter, or would they mention this at interview stage knowing that they cannot not employ me due to my health reasons. I would have to mention at some stage the working setup I would want so it could not really be done once I join the company.

Any help would be great

Having MS does not mean you are automatically entitled to “the working setup you would want” - in particular working from home as much as you like.

I was made redundant anyway in 2012 (along with 700 others, so I don’t think we can really blame MS), but prior to that, I worked from home - but NOT because of the MS - it was something a high proportion of the workforce did anyway.

So I was lucky, and it suited me, but many employers still believe face-to-face contact is essential, even when the bulk of the work could reasonably be done from anywhere. They think it is essential for things like teambuilding, morale, and communications - and sometimes because it’s important to maintain “high visibility” to clients.

Personally, if you happen to have an employer who will apparently bend over backwards to accommodate you, why would you be looking to “move on” to someone who probably won’t?

The law requires that employers make “reasonable adjustments” for MS - however, this does not translate into automatic entitlement to work from home, which may or may not be reasonable, depending on both the type of employer and the demands of the job.

If it’s absolutely non-negotiable for you, that you must be allowed to work from home as and when you like, I think it would be fairly pointless NOT to mention that during the recruitment stage, because if you apply and get the job, you can ask, but not demand. It may not necessarily be reasonable, so if they say: “Well no, we are a very client-facing organisation, and most of our clients expect most of our developers to be here”, you do not have a cast iron argument that they’re being unreasonable.

I don’t really understand why the question arises if you’re really happy where you are, and it works out well. You may not get OR be entitled to the same elsewhere, so why would you want to jump ship? I think these days, if you get a good job - especially one that’s a really good fit with your health limitations - the moral is to hang onto it.

“Reasonable adjustments” are not set in stone, and do not necessarily mean “the setup you would want” (any more than a healthy person always gets “the setup they would want”). The “reasonable” part applies to both sides - i.e. the employer’s needs and expectations are relevant too, and it isn’t just down to the disabled employee demanding, and the employer having to do it. Just because work could, hypothetically, be done from home doesn’t mean it will necessarily be reasonable.

When you think about it, almost any office work that involves mainly a phone and a computer could be done from home, but I think employers who regard that as acceptable (other than occasionally) are still in the minority. If, for some reason, you decided to quit your existing (good) employer, probably the only way to guarantee employment completely on your terms would be to go freelance.



Do please take in what Tina has said, but also bear this in mind:

Recruitment agencies are not working for you, or the employer, but themselves.
They latch onto a job that is going, get the OK to try and fill it, and then put their staff to work.
You get a call from the “Resourcer”, who is only really interested in whether or not you are available.
If you are available, then you get the “Executive” whose sole interest is how well you fit the job spec. they have had from the client. The “Executive” will have been trained to do the first screening of potential applicants.
The first screen will look at how closely you fit the spec, not how good you are.
If the spec calls for two A levels, and you have a PhD in Astrophysics - you are out.
Any awkward conditions you have - you are out.
So you got a nice letter - they want to keep you on their books against the day when it is you who exactly meets the spec.

What you can do is to start selling yourself around your neighbourhood:
“Freelance web-site professional now has time free for one more contract” sort of thing.
You are cutting out the middle-man, now, and anyone who wants a pro website designer who seems not to want a permanent slot can contact you.
If you include professional website firms in your own marketing campaign, you might just hit one who will take you on to work from home. If they approach you, then you can start with your own conditions.

Just think wider than agencies.


1 Like

Thanks for your comments.

I do appreciate how well they look after me and so happy to accommodate me, I know for sure other companies would not be willing to be as reasonable.

It was more when the time comes to move on. No job is safe anymore as you know, agencies are always popping up, getting clients, losing clients etc so very much doubt I would have my job until I retire, most people move on every few years looking to work with bigger clients on different projects.

I do have bad days, it is very frustrating working from home sometimes, but can hardly complain as it is not out of choice.

Thanks again