Forum

To declare disability or not to declare...

Hi y’all

I am looking for a job at the moment, which, along with becoming ill last year and getting diagnosed is testing me in a major way!

I had an interview today and it was a strange experience. Almost as though it wasn’t a serious interview and they kept thanking me for coming. They didn’t seem very professional but then it was local government! Anyway, I am slightly worried that because I declared a disability, interviewing me was just a box ticking exercise for them. But then maybe I am being cynical.

It seems you’re dammed if you do and dammed if you don’t. I declared it because I will need reasonable adjustments.

Does anyone have any insights/experiences?

Thanku

I worked in local government.

I found them to be a really good employer. Keen to offer any support they could and they were also very aware of disability issues.

Based on my experience, I wouldn’t worry unduly about having told them about your MS

Good Luck!

In general, I probably wouldn’t declare it in a job application. BUT, some employers (local government often being one of them) actively seek to recruit members of “minorities”.

So if there was a good chance the recruiting organisation had a “disability quota”, and that I’d stand more chance if they knew, then yes, I’d mention it. :wink:

Yes, I know it’s cynical and manipulative - using my “disability” only when it suits me. But if I honestly thought they were looking to recruit more disabled people, then yes, I’d declare it.

Tina

Hi, I think Tina is right about local authorities so declaring your disability here may help. I think the same applies to big ftse 100 companies, they like to be seen to be employing minority groups and are also used to at dealing with these groups, you will nt be their only disabled employee. Think what to say becomes a problem if it is a smaller company, they worry about you being off sick and the cost associated with that, also they are not used to disabled employees so worry about complying with the necessary legislations. If you really want to mention ms then I would stick to local authorities and big companies and put my ms in a positive way. Cheryl:)

They’re not allowed to ask you any more! I’m sure there must be some exceptions, where full disclosure of health status would be essential - e.g. if you’re applying to be an airline pilot. But for most “normal” jobs, they can’t ask, just like they can’t ask a woman whether she plans to have children.

Hi, thanks for your replies. I didn’t specify MS, just the vague option they had on the equal opps monitoring form saying something like ‘longterm condition…’

Cheryl-how do you put your MS in a positive way?

Hiya,

I work for Aberdeen University in the medical school. When I applied for the job, I ticked the guaranteed interview box because I was sick of not getting invited for interviews (this stupid disease was going to work for me somehow!). They interviewed me, I sparkled my very best and got the job, but HR kept it to themselves about my MS, I don’t know if my interviewers knew it was a guaranteed interview, they certainly didn’t know about the MS, so I definitely got the job on my own merits, and they have proved to be an excellent employer.

Luisa x

Hi, to put it in A positive way I would say something like, “I completed my degree despite being diagnosed with ms while doing so”, Cheryl:)

Hi when I applied for my job 2 years ago with local council I declared on the application form that I was disabled ie I ticked the box-I pondered over it for ages as I am able to get about ok, drive etc. and don’t look or feel disabled!!!. but I wanted to be straight about it. I was offered the job and accepted and then I spoke to my manager who was on the interview panel when she phoned to offer me the job. I told her that I had MS and she was great about it. She didn’t know as HR had obviously not disclosed it. In my previous job at a large charity HR. also didn’t disclose my medical notes to my line manager. So being up front hasn’t been a disadvantage to me, personally I would rather my employers know about my condition so if I need time off work because of it it is no big surprise to them, but I appreciate it is a tricky subject to deal with.

Good luck