Questions before I begin a new job — Scope | Disability forum
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Questions before I begin a new job

RSISolutions Member Posts: 116 Courageous
Dear adviser, I would like some advice on this scenario. I have been to the interview and have been offered the job. I have accepted the job. However with my previous employer I had several weeks off work with a disability condition that I have. My new employer now asks me how many days I have had off work in the last twelve months. I am nervous as I don't want to give the real answer because this is a full-time job and they will think that I am not capable of doing the job.

I am fearful they will retract the job offer if they know the real answer to how many days I have had off work during the last twelve months.

The equality act I think says that time off work due to your protected act in other words your disability should not be counted as sick leave. Therefore should I not answer my new employer's question and just tell them how much time I have had off work which is nothing to do with the protected act that I possess for example the time I have had off work with the flu. And other normal conditions as people without disabilities have.

Your advice on this would be welcomed


  • foxuk
    foxuk Member Posts: 102 Pioneering
    As nobody else has answered I think I'd better try.

    Your job application forms part of your contract of employment and if you are 'economical with the truth' it can be (if blatant enough) be grounds for dismissal.

    You really need qualified legal advice on exactly how to answer the question. 

    I would contact the C.A.B. (or other advice service) to get a solicitor specialising in employment law to give their opinion on how to calculate the number of days 'off sick'.

  • RSISolutions
    RSISolutions Member Posts: 116 Courageous
    Thanks. The last few times I have been to the CAB they have either given me the wrong advice or refused to give me access to a lawyer to ask questions. So I have given up on them. It takes too long and I don't have time. 

    This is why I would like a trained adviser to answer this question. 

  • Mwila_Scope
    Mwila_Scope Scope Support to Work service Posts: 52 Pioneering
    Hi @RSISolutions
    Hope you're well and congratulations on the job offer.  Apologies for not getting back to you sooner.

    Ultimately it depends on the arrangement you had with your employer. Was time off taken as Sick leave or Disability Leave.?

    As part of your reasonable adjustments in the workplace, you can request your employer to offer you paid disability leave to allow you to take unplanned time off work relating to your disability or condition. Not all employers offer disability leave and those that do, record this separately from your sick leave. Therefore its important to understand what sort of arrangement you had with your employer as it would influence how your absence was recorded. It might also be a good idea to have this conversation of your new employer too and see what reasonable adjustments could be made for you to enable you to do your job effectively.

    If you would like more information in regards to this, i would recommend that you contact ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) who provide free and impartial information and advice to employers and employees on all aspects of workplace relations and employment law. Their helpline number is 0300 123 1100.
    Hope that helps 
    Scope Employment Advisor
    Phone: 0300 222 5742
    Email: [email protected]
  • RSISolutions
    RSISolutions Member Posts: 116 Courageous
    If you take time off work as unplanned disability leave, would you expect to be paid for this?

    If yes – do you need a doctors note if it is more than 7 days?

    The people at ACAS are not qualified enough to answer these technically difficult questions. This is why I am on this forum to get a better answer. 
  • foxuk
    foxuk Member Posts: 102 Pioneering
    Hi again,
    This is a grey area that is untested in Law.
    I don't think anyone can give a definitive answer to your question at present. 
    Even a Barrister specialising in employment Law would only be able to give an opinion.
    Like many of the changes to disabled people's rights in the past two decades things have been made worse not better.
    That's the way things are at present in many areas of our lives and all we can do is try to change opinion and create a productive atmosphere to bring about the creation of Law that actually means something and isn't just window dressing.
    Sorry to be so negative but I hope you appreciate an honest answer.
  • RSISolutions
    RSISolutions Member Posts: 116 Courageous
    edited January 2018
    Hi @foxuk
    I believe you are right. This is a very grey area. 

    Yes, I do appreciate an honest answer. Thank you for your reply


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