Remaining politically neutral during General Election 2024

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Disclosing illness to new employer

Leannenurse1 Community member Posts: 4 Listener
edited March 24 in Work and employment
Hi there,
just wanted to get some advice. I took ill health retirement from my full time employment in August 23. I am now in a position to work a couple of hours per week on a flexible as and when basis, in a different much less pressured environment. My question is, do I have to tell my new employer why I took ill health retirement? I’d prefer not to. My past employer will write me a reference, but obviously has to state I left due to health reasons, surely though my past employer cannot state my diagnosis without my consent? Thank you. 


  • MW123
    MW123 Scope Member Posts: 565 Pioneering

    Your previous employer must adhere to GDPR regulations and refrain from disclosing your medical information without your explicit consent. When they provide a reference, they can mention your departure was due to health reasons without divulging specifics about your illness or diagnosis. 

    As you embark on a new job, be mindful of any contractual obligations or declarations required. While honesty is paramount, you can provide only necessary information. 

    Initiating an open and transparent conversation with your new employer about relevant health considerations that may affect your work arrangements can prove beneficial. If you require reasonable adjustments in your new workplace due to health issues, it's imperative to inform your new employer so they can fulfil their duties under the Equality Act 2010. Goodluck in your new job.

  • EDW
    EDW Community member Posts: 12 Listener
    Hi Leanne. I left my last job 4 years ago as a residential care home worker due to anxiety. I haven't worked since with new mental health diagnoses but am looking to volunteer. You don't have to explain to your new employer what your diagnosis is and your employer cannot divulge it in a reference either due to GDPR rules. If your new employer is aware you retired on health grounds you can simply explain to them that your health has improved since you retired and you feel not only do you want to reenter work at this stage but also provide the company with your skills and experience whether there transferable skills from previous employment or not. You'll be fine x
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