Tell or not tell

Hi Ladies,
just looking for a bit of advice, had bilateral mx and then FEC, diagnosed with liver mets same time as original BC found. Took ill health retirement from NHS as was unable to do my job properly, they were cutting posts and not happy about me needing time off. Now two and a half years on Liver mets has been stable for a year and although suffering with aches, pains and fatigue I would like to do something with my time as I am only 52 and miss the social aspect of work, last night I saw a part time job - 12.30-16.30 mon - thurs meeting and greeting visitors and answering the telephone, something I feel would suit my curent health situation and here is where I need some advice, I have been offered an interview and although I am happy to say why I left the NHS I am wondering if I have to mention my secondaries? If I give them the impression that the BC has been dealt with it may improve my chance of being selected. Has anyone else been in this position and what did you decide? Help :confused:

Hi I don’t think you have to tell them about your health problems as you are classed as disabled under the Disability Act. I may be wrong but am pretty sure that is the case! I think if they offer you the position they can’t then take that offer away if you then told them.
Hopefully someone with more knowledge will be along but you can look up the Act on the government website.
Good Luck with the interview I hope you get the job if it seems right for you
Jill xxx

Oops posted twice I keep doing that! And dont know why!!!
Jill xxx

Hi, I am not totally sure about this, I dont think you have to tell them but then if they dont know they cant make reasonable adjustments. There is a good section on the MacMillan website about this that explains it clearly. Good luck. Buffy xx

Hi Milo1.
Cancer is now classed as a disability under the Equality Act 2010. As I understand the Act you do not HAVE to disclose your disability before or during the interview. You might choose to disclose the situation if you needed some special arrangements for the interview - say if your mobility was impaired and you needed access to a lift or a downstairs interview room. But the information you give prior to interview should not have an impact on the questions asked during the interview or the decision regarding your suitability for the post.
If they are good interviewers and operating within the law they should not ask you directly about any disability but you could choose to tell them if you wanted. You might find it useful to contact Citizens Advice or ACAS or maybe even Macmillan about this as they should have someone who can help you interpret the law in relation to interviews and employment
The question to ask yourself is if you choose to tell your interviewers about your cancer how might they use that information? The concern is that they would use it negatively against you. For me there is a tension here as it feels wrong not to disclose such information but personally I don’t feel I would get a fair interview if I did.
I am a manager as well as someone with a BC diagnosis and can see both sides of the argument here. However, I feel that if I were to disclose my diagnosis to a prospective employer they would find a way not to employ me - they would never say it was about my disability but blame it on something else. So, I would keep the details to myself until and if they make me an offer - it is an ethical problem because it feels like deception but I am not sure how you get fair treatment otherwise.
Since treatment I have been considering changing jobs and looked into the EA 2010 and what a BC diagnosis means when job hunting. Personally, I don’t like the label of disability but realistically it means that I am now protected from discrimination because of my BC diagnosis.

I have been in this position. I did not mention my health in my interview (and was not asked). I was offered the job and started a few months ago. I filled in a pre-employment health questionnaire once I’d been offered the job which I think ended up at the company’s head office. Anyway, nothing’s been said. I’ve needed occasional time off for hospital appts which has been fine. Personally I see no reason to bring up my health at the application or interview stage. It’s none of their business as it does not affect my ability to do the job.

Thank you ladies, knew I could rely on you all, I am going to speak with my McMillan nurse but think I will not mention the secondaries and see where I go from there xx

Good luck with the interview - fingers crossed for you.

I too have a similar dilemma in that I had to leave my last job upon my dx. They would have made it impossible for me otherwise. A previous employee with a cancer dx was treated very badly. But to be fair to them it was a lottery funded charity, only 3 employess including myself.
I am now over a year since my initial dx and I am continuing to have other health concerns which means I have to have another operation seperate to bc and I am waiting to hear about that.
But I feel desperate to get back to work, I feel incredibly guilty claiming ESA.
My dilemma is this: On application forms it asks ‘reason for leaving last job’. I am at a loss to know what to put. If I say bc dx I feel I will be discriminated against (yes, I know the rules but blah, blah). If I don’t put that it looks like I had just decided I fancied a year off…
Please help!! It’s really upsetting me…

Well Ladies, I have passed first round of interviews, no one asked me directly why I left the NHS, they just assumed that it was because I had relocated to a different part of the country so I did not tell any fibs!!!, I did have to tell them that my shorthand is now poor as I have not done any for a while, Will have to see what round two brings :slight_smile:

Milo, just remember if you get/accept the job and you accepted tier 2 ill health nhs retirement you should discuss with nhs pensions…there are limits to what you are allowed to earn and you need their approval because tier 2 retirement means you are unfit to do any other job and the pension is enhanced to take this into account…I doubt you will be earning enough for them to refuse permission but its important to get their approval because survivor and dependant payouts could be affected as could your pension! sorry to add a slight complication! Pamx

could you just say that your role was made redundant? Or it was a lottery funded project and the funding for your role dried up? If you feel you can say this they are unlikely to question it further and redundancy is so common these days. I realise it is a lie but as you say the truth is likely to scare them off. I wouldn’t even put “ill health” though perhaps if you wanted to you could put this but check out with Macmillan or other good source if they can still ask you any questions about your health - don’t think they can but it may also result in them seeing you as a risk when there are currently lots of unemployed people and therefore competition for jobs.
Good luck

Well done Milo1 in getting through the first round. Remember they cannot ask you questions about health etc at interview so just be careful what you disclose. Fingers crossed for round 2 - do you know what happens next?

Hi Helen.
Thanks for your response. You have echoed my thoughts exactly as to what I need to do. I don’t like to lie but i cannot see a way in which I can get back into employment with my bc diagnosis. This is especially true as my role within the charity was as a gardener. I feel that with a dx of bc, i will be viewed as unfit.
I have spoken with Macmillan and their advice was if I did not say I ‘considered myself to have a disability’ on any application form, then in any future employ, if I needed time off (checks at hospital etc) then they may take a dim view of my lack of disclosure. In effect I could/could not tell…but be aware of any consequences of telling/not telling.
Unfortunately, my feeling is that any such disclosure will put potential employers off especially as you say in a competitve job market. Save perhaps for the NHS/MacMillan/BCC - they maybe more sympathetic.
It really is a very difficult situation. I feel that having a bc dx has had at times made me feel like a criminal!
I have heard many people say they have had difficult bosses and time off has been an issue for them.
But for now, |I need to get passed 1st base: 'Why did you leave…
Thank-you for your help.
Milo1, best wishes for the next round!

Hi Wintersox, interesting point raised by Macmillan. As far as I understand the law you should not be asked any questions about disability in the recruitment process. If the application form asks you to disclose a disability then this should either only be about reasonable adjustments for the interview process or for statistical purposes - this information should not be passed to the interviewers.
If you are offered a job then I believe this is the time you need to disclose your disability. For me, if I were to be offered another post I know I would have to complete a health questionnaire and at this stage (post offer) I would disclose my BC diagnosis. If I did not disclose my BC at this stage then I think Mcmillan’s comments apply. But, my BC diagnosis and treatment will not affect my role or future roles - I work in a Univrsity. I guss we all have to make a judgement about the extent to which our BC affects our bility to carry out different roles. Hope this is helpful.

Apologies for the poor spelling at the end of that posting - its late and I should hav gone to sleep hours ago.

Thanks Hergarden, have checked with NHS pensions,I am okay as it is only 16 hours a week and not brilliant pay, The only reason I have applied for the job is that I miss people!!! since BC and secondaries I feel as though my world has shrunk considerably and having had my recent three scans showing no new growths feel I want to do more. Wintersocks, wishing you all the best xx

To tell or not to tell that is the question… this is the way I look at it if you tell them then they have a choice faced with someone who is registered disabled or someone who is ‘Normal’ which would you choose?? also I’m not sure how you stand if you choose not to tell them and then have too sign a contract that stipulates that you need to come clean about any ailments. Its difficult and I’m sorry I can’t help you any further but at least ponder on it for a while before you make your decision. Also why not contact macmillan and ask them what the protocol would be.
Love and light Sarahlouise xxx

Okay, the deed has been done, my interview was this morning and it was very informal, never had one before which didn’t ask why do you want this job and what could you bring to the company, was not even asked about my sick record so no lies/untruths told and if successful know I can control the pain with medication however my fatigue does worry me, I will have to manage that very carefully. Should know by thursday if I was suitable - fingers crossed x

Milo1, that sounds promising. Fingers crossed for you - let us know how you get on.