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Recruitment Discrimination

Hello :slight_smile: I don’t post but used to read a while back… I hope this is the correct place to post…

I have a diagnosis of MS. It is very mild, with only sensory disturbance (numbness & tingling).

I recently applied for a job that has some physical aspects. There was a medical where you had to prove mobility which I passed as I have no physical disability at all. I’m fit healthy, do boot camp style training, Tough Mudder etc… regular runner… no problems at all.

However, all candidates were asked to complete a full medical disclosure form… I wasn’t happy about this as the last thing I wanted to do was tick the MS box! The form cane with a declaration “whole truth, nothing but truth” type thing and so I knew I had to declare it…

I was gutted.

I told the nurse I wasn’t happy about the form as I didn’t think I could be asked for such detail in recruitment process.she reassured me I was covered under the Equality Act, and told he it wouldn’t affect my application…

I was really shaken & upset, but filled in the form.

l was then asked to sign a form allowing my doctor to provide medical records & letter stating fitness for work… I allowed this based on what nurse said, but I was very unhappy.

Low and behold my job application has been put in hold. Other people who applied have been offered a job, but I’ve been told that although I passed the interview I still need to give Occupational Health more information.

(my doctor signed me off as fit fir the role incidentally).

I have now researched this and see that under Section 60 of the Equality Act medical information cannot be asked for prior to a job offer. Withholding a job on disability grounds is disability discrimination.

Today they asked me to see their doctor next month about my MS!!!

Am I missing something??

I have responded with a NO I’m not sitting with your doctor until I have a job offer as that is illegal. I can do the job, and have proven it.

The company do not think that they’ve done anything wrong as they can ask questions regarding disabilities intrinsic to the job and under health & safety reasons.

My understanding is that it means “do you have a disability that stops you doing x, y,z? To which I’d say NO!

It doesn’t give them the right to delve into my entire medical history pre job offer.

Given I’m fit & heAlthy with no physical limitation it all feels very prejudice. I have MS therefore must have physical limitations!!??

I’m speaking to the Equalities Commission tomorrow.

if anybody has any advice or comments that would be great.

Thanks for listening.

1 Like

good luck mate

They’ve got no right to delve - they are not even allowed to ask your age or date of birth.

Thanks Cat Woman :slight_smile: I think I’m going to need it. Florence, you are right! I’m astounded that they think it’s ok to ask for all my medical history just because the job has physical aspects! I don’t get their ignorance… I worked overseas when I was diagnosed, and was basically sacked… Fingers crossed the Equality Act can help me out here! :frowning:

Have just read Section 60 - it says that a prospective employer should only do medical checks AFTER a job offer has been made. BUT there are exceptions where medical checks are done before a job offer is made. I think this depends on what the actual job is. The questions you need to ask the Equalities people are A) does the job you and others applied for permit the prospective employer to ask about medical details BEFORE a job offer is made? B) if not what can you do about it?

Yes Krakowian, I agree. The question is what is reasonable to ask in finding out if you can perform a task intrinsic to a job… For those interested I’ve been asked to send the medical form to the Equalities Comission, and they will decide if Section 60 has been breached… this is going to be a slow process… I wonder how easily my employer will hand over the form to me?

For anybody following this I have some rather good news. My employer has changed the recruitment process so that medical assessments are not allowed before a job offer. I know that the Equalities & Human Rights Commission has asked my employer to explain why they are giving out pre-employment medical questionnaires… I suspect this is why they’ve changed their procedure. I think it shows that it doesn’t matter what job you apply for - you can’t be asked if you have MS during recruitment. My company has had to change how it recruits people who work at heights. I am so pleased. They have made me a conditional job offer based on me passing Oc Health… I now need to answer their questions - which is fine - I have a job offer!. I’ve had to fight for this. A weaker person would’ve given up, but if you tell me I can’t do something… I’m gonna do something! Thanks for listening.

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Well done to you sir,you should be pleased for yourself but also very proud that you have challenged this correctly and forced some change within this one company(only a few million more to go!). I always try to support people with a little basic advise on employment issues when they come up on here. I always put a link to the Equalities commission and urge the person to seek their advise and help,so very pleased to hear of their very real and useful involvement in your case. Good luck with the job,

[quote=“wun_wabbit_wun”]

For anybody following this I have some rather good news. My employer has changed the recruitment process so that medical assessments are not allowed before a job offer. I know that the Equalities & Human Rights Commission has asked my employer to explain why they are giving out pre-employment medical questionnaires… I suspect this is why they’ve changed their procedure. I think it shows that it doesn’t matter what job you apply for - you can’t be asked if you have MS during recruitment. My company has had to change how it recruits people who work at heights. I am so pleased. They have made me a conditional job offer based on me passing Oc Health… I now need to answer their questions - which is fine - I have a job offer!. I’ve had to fight for this. A weaker person would’ve given up, but if you tell me I can’t do something… I’m gonna do something! Thanks for listening.

[/quote] Well done! The lesson from this is that we aren’t going to get everything on a plate we may have to fight for things - our rights. -

I’ve been working for my company for the last 5 years, every year theres a medical and forms to fill in, for the first 4 years I either left “dodgy” questions blank or ticked “no”, worried that it would effect my job. On the last medical just before Xmas I decided what the hell and “confessed” to having MS, mainly because it had got worse. I told my manager that I was diagnosed 4 years ago, he was p*ssed off that I didnt tell them earlier because they could of offered help sooner. I was also told by the H&S manager that you do not have to declare an illness unless it will directly have a bearing on safety, MS clinic told me the same thing. So apparently if your MS is NOT a safety issue and you dont feel it’s anyones business just yet, then keep it to yourself.

1 Like

That’s exactly right. I was worried I’d be sacked if I didn’t declare it and they found out (that’s what used to happen historically I think?) but that’s not the case at all. People need to know that they have every right to ignore that dreaded box unless they need support or there’s safety concerns - and only ever AFTER a job offer has been made or you’re already in the job and need adjustments.

Get advise from the www.equalityhumanrights.com/en they have a helpline you can phone. I can’t remember who or when to try and search, but remember there was a guy on here in very similar circumstances and they were able to approach the company on his behalf to remind them of their legal responsibilities and he got the job. good luck,pretty sure you have been illegally discriminated against. Ollie

#Oops ignore all that,i just responded to an old thread which is the one i was referencing in this post without realising!#