Do I have to declare it?

Hi Ladies
I hope you are all doing ok today?

I have just sent my CV off for a job, and on my CV my last work finished in Jan08.
If I get an interview and am asked why I haven’t worked since, do I have to declare the reason, or can I just say health issues?

I really would like this job as it fits in with the kids, hubby’s job and kids hobbies
and no weekends, but feel I need to be prepared for the question.

I think I read something similar on here recently but cannot find it now.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Take care


I think if you are asked this question you have to answer honestly. You don’t need to give details, but maybe say something like ‘I have been ill but recently been given a full bill of health to return to work’. Now this may not be true, I don’t know, but you must answer in an upbeat smiley way and hope that you fit their requirements and make a positive impression. They may then ask what your illness was and you are perfectly within your rights to politely refuse to tell them. This may have implications though, and you may not get the job if they think you have something to hide.

It is a very difficult scenario but I hope it all goes smoothly.

Good luck


Hi Angie
I recently got a new job and was completely up front from the outset. The nature of the new job requires a certain amount of understanding and compassion with regards to illness so I think that declaring the illness and consequent treatment actually helped to secure the job for me, as I had very little experience in the field. I think you must research the company or organisation, find out how they treat their employees, have they got a high turnover of staff…etc and the implications of having future appointments or treatment and how this may affect you if you haven’t declared it. Above all, if you get an interview, use this to your advantage…it’s for you to interview the prospective employer also. You may get to the interview and find that you are comfortable enough to see youself as part of the company/organisaion and that you would fit in no matter what - in which case it’s the right job for you, they are the right employers and everything can be above board. On the other hand if I felt uncomfortable and maybe that they would not understand, I’m not sure if I would want to work for them.
Hope it all goes well and good luck!!!
Scarlet. xx

Thanks ladies.
Lets hope I even get to an interview stage!!!

Take care


I was forced to get a new job in March 07, I was 5 moinths post final chemo, but still having herceptin. I applied for a number of various jobs but ended up back working where I worked a few years prior to my dx. I will need to make a changethough for financial reasons at some point.
Anyhow back to the point, yes honesty is the best policy, if they are not undrstanding then ask youself if you want to work for them.
Best of luck
louise xx

Hi Angie,

Honesty is indeed the best policy, because if you don’t declare it, you will find it hard to declare yourself as disabled for the purposes of the Disability Discrimination Act should that be required in the future.

The Act works in your favour too - they aren’t allowed to discriminate against you because of your cancer or its treatment.

All the best - hope you get the job!

Sue xx

Hi Angiebabes
I had a very similar situation. I left my job and then started a different one with the same company 6 months later. My boss knows the real reason but if anyone asks who doesn’t know my history I just say I left to have some elective surgery (which is trueish as my Mast/recon was elective). Somehow this response feels easier for me so I don’t have to explain to people the whole cancer thing and in my mind ‘elective surgery’ implies an event that is over and done with without repercussions. I also find people don’t dig deeper when I mention surgery but if I mention cancer then people always want to know when, where, how & why and tell you about there friends/relatives who’ve been through it. I know people are well meaning but I don’t want to talk about it at work!!!
I guess we are all different and we just have to do what’s right for us. I agree with Sue about the disability thing though and I’m glad my boss knows the real reason for official lines.
Good luck with the job, I hope you get it.