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Childcare & Disability Declaration

mary123 Community member Posts: 11 Listener
edited July 2022 in Work and employment
Hello - appreciate some employment advice if possible:

Son has nocturnal epilepsy - controlled with meds. Has never had any issues in day/while awake and has not missed any school.

Has just completed A levels and hoping to either go to Uni in Sept or take a gap year. A summer job helping in a summer childcare setting has come up - daytime hours (9am-4pm). 

However the application form is asking if he has a disability. They want to know before he’s even got to interview or had an offer.

He doesn’t want to lie but is worried if he puts ‘Yes’ they may not want to take the risk. I did suggest he leave it blank but this may just result in them also looking on it less favourably or asking more questions. I know they’re not supposed to discriminate but…. (& it would be difficult to prove). 

I’m just wondering if childcare/nursery/school workers have to declare epilepsy and if it goes against them in working with children - fear of having a fit in front on little ones etc? 

He’s a bit disappointed; as he regularly helps out with kids through other sports etc; but I think this child care provider is very risk averse and he might be quietly side-lined - as soon as he declares his condition. 

Appreciate any thoughts/experience on this.

Thanks in advance.


  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Posts: 12,506 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @mary123 :) I can see why he might be feeling a bit disheartened. We have a page on our website about disclosing disability to an employer, which you/he might find helpful to read. This includes the following information:

    Mentioning disability in your application

    Your application should be about how your skills and experience make you the right person for the role. You do not need to focus on your condition in your application form unless you want to.

    You do not have to answer any questions about disability.

    Including your condition might increase your chances of getting an interview or job offer if:

    • the employer wants to interview more disabled people
    • it’s relevant to the skills needed for the job

    For example, if your experience of disability is something that would be valuable in the role, you could add this to your skills and experience. If your condition has given you transferable skills, such as adapting to change or time management, you can include these as strengths.

    Equal opportunities form

    Separate equal opportunities or monitoring forms may ask if you’re disabled. Some HR departments use these forms to monitor the characteristics of people applying for jobs. The interviewer usually does not see this form.

    Choosing not to mention disability in your application

    Disabled people are twice as likely to be unemployed as non-disabled people.

    If you say that you're disabled in your application:

    • you may be at increased risk of discrimination
    • the employer could focus on your condition instead of your skills and experience

    If you mention your condition on the application form, and do not receive an interview, this could be discrimination. But this is hard to prove.

    You might want to wait until you have a job offer to mention your condition. If the offer is withdrawn, you then have evidence of discrimination.

    Disability discrimination at work

    Talking about disability at a job interview

    Whether you talk about your condition is your choice. Decide before the interview whether you will talk about it or not. Doing so will help you feel prepared for the interview and focus on proving your suitability for the role.

    Disability should not be the subject of the interview. You could discuss the support you may need if offered the job. You could also show how your experiences as a disabled person will help you to do the role. If you’ve performed well in previous jobs or volunteering, mentioning these will be an advantage.

    As a disabled person, you are the expert on your condition. Only discuss what you feel comfortable with. Talk positively and offer solutions rather than presenting problems.

    For example, do not talk about things that you will find difficult. Instead, discuss how small changes can enable you to work more effectively.

    If you wish, ask open questions that do not need a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer, such as:

    • How do you make sure everyone is able to give their best performance at work?
    • What do you do to encourage employee health and wellbeing?

    If your interviewer asks about your condition or impairment

    Your interviewer is not allowed to ask you about your condition or how it affects you.

    You could challenge inappropriate questions by asking if all candidates had to answer that question.

    Or you can politely decline to answer, for example:

    • “I don’t feel it’s appropriate to discuss that at this stage.”
    • “We can discuss that when you offer me the job.”

    They should not ask how many sick days you had in your last job. If this happens, you could answer without giving an exact number. For example:

    • "Sickness wasn’t a problem in my last job."
    • “I feel that I am able to do this job reliably.”
    The website also says the following:


    An employer who’s recruiting staff may make limited enquiries about your health or disability.
    You can only be asked about your health or disability:
    • to help decide if you can carry out a task that is an essential part of the work
    • to help find out if you can take part in an interview
    • to help decide if the interviewers need to make reasonable adjustments for you in a selection process
    • to help monitoring
    • if they want to increase the number of disabled people they employ
    • if they need to know for the purposes of national security checks
    You may be asked whether you have a health condition or disability on an application form or in an interview. You need to think about whether the question is one that is allowed to be asked at that stage of recruitment.
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