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Finding new job with significant absence history

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Becky88
Becky88 Community member Posts: 31 Connected
edited August 2022 in Work and employment
In May 2021 I changed jobs due to Covid. I went into a temporary lab assistant position which I hated. 

Four weeks in, I developed severe bronchitis which took over a month to clear. During this time sick I realised I hated the job and quit with immediate effect in June.

I then had a period of unemployment until November when I got a job in a hospital. 

I started in November 2021 but on 1st January 2022 I ended up in A&E with severe chest pain and was partially diagnosed with a heart condition (which I’m still waiting a full diagnosis for). Said heart condition kept me off work from January until April. 

I then went back to work for around 6 weeks before going off again with mental health issues brought about by bullying and discrimination at work due to my health. I haven’t even back since. 

I’m realising I can’t remain in my current role for several reasons:

1) its long hours and physically active. My heart condition means I’m too exhausted to do the role
2) the bullying and discrimination I’ve faced have massively triggered my social anxiety and depression and I can’t face going back after so long. 

The problem is, I don’t know how I’m going to get another job given my huge absences. 

Do I leave my currently role off my CV meaning I’ll have a gap of over 12 months to explain? Or do I include it knowing that any job offer might be rescinded once they find out my absence history and risk my current employer deciding to terminate me due to looking for a new role, and potentially finding myself without a job at all? 

I’m only on SSP currently so I need to get a new role quickly as I can’t afford to live, and my employer is starting to put pressure on me to go back. 

I’m also concerned that if I do leave my current role off my CV, I’ll be found out due to claiming SSP. The reason I’m concerned about this is because my previous position as a lab assistant said they don’t include absences in CVs, however my current employer found out about it and called me to discuss prior to offering me the role. She said it “flagged” on pre-employment checks. I did check with my old employer and she confirmed she didn’t mention my absence so I’ve no idea how my current employer found out. 

Any advice? I feel completely lost as to how to leave my role. 

I’ve been either unemployed or absent for over 12 months in the last 15 month period. I don’t have a clue how I can possibly find another role in this circumstance. I feel trapped in a job I physically can’t do and mentally can’t face. 

Comments

  • Ross_Alumni
    Ross_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,652 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hello @Becky88

    I just wanted to reach out to thank you for making this post and for going into detail about your situation, it has been a concern I've seen others mention on the community recently, people not being sure how a long period of absence will reflect on them for any future jobs. 

    From my point of view, as long as you feel capable of doing whatever any future job may be, there is no reason why the absence should stand in your way. An employer will be looking to assess your suitability for the role at that current time and I'm sure you'd do fantastically at proving to them that you are right for the role. 

    In terms of absence, I'm not sure where you would stand legally but it might be worth considering whether an honest and upfront approach might actually be the best way to go and could reflect well on you. Plus it does seem as though you've had some rough luck with what you describe in your post. I am sorry that you've had a difficult time with your health and I hope that going forward things work out better for you :) 

    If you discuss your health with any prospective employer they could look to implement adjustments to support you with doing the role. Whether it be your current or any future employer, it's always a good idea to be up front with them about what support you might need to succeed in the job so that they can help you as best as possible. As an example, you mentioned above that you work long hours, and in some cases adjustments can involve allowing disabled employees to do shorter shifts if it would ease the impact of their condition.

    Sorry to hear about your heart condition. Do you know when you will get your full diagnosis? As I said above, it does seem as though you've had some rough luck with situations like this and the incidents with the bullying. Do you feel as though you have enough support in place from your doctor or other medical professional to help you manage your mental health and other conditions?

    Did you report the bullying and discrimination you were the victim of to a HR department? It sounds awful and I imagine work must have felt like a very lonely place at that time.
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  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
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    Just one point to make you usually have to declare that all information provided in the application is true so withholding information  would not be advised 

    If the questions are asked eg previous employment then do not leave out prev employer . If they don't ask then don't include 

    Best to be honest from start your ni and tax records will easily show prev employment and tax paid 
  • Becky88
    Becky88 Community member Posts: 31 Connected
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    janer1967 said:
    Just one point to make you usually have to declare that all information provided in the application is true so withholding information  would not be advised 

    If the questions are asked eg previous employment then do not leave out prev employer . If they don't ask then don't include 

    Best to be honest from start your ni and tax records will easily show prev employment and tax paid 
    Thank you. This was really helpful. 
  • Becky88
    Becky88 Community member Posts: 31 Connected
    edited August 2022
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    Hello @Becky88

    Sorry to hear about your heart condition. Do you know when you will get your full diagnosis?

    […] 

    Did you report the bullying and discrimination you were the victim of to a HR department? 
    Thank you. 

    I have an appointment with my cardiologist on 1st September so I’m hoping he’ll give me a full diagnosis then. 

    Regarding the bullying/discrimination, yes I did inform HR. Twice. My manager has been the primary source of the discrimination/bullying and I have a meeting with HR, a union rep, and my manager on 6th September. 

    I’ll be honest though, HR is very close to my manager (small department) and she was VERY quick to make excuses for her so I doubt the meeting will achieve much. 
  • Jo_2022
    Jo_2022 Community Volunteer Host Posts: 298 Pioneering
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    Hi @Becky88! 😊 I am so so sorry to hear about the issue you are having with work and your health conditions. I hope the next workplace is a supportive environment and you don’t have to face any bullying or discrimination again. If I were you I would mention previous employment in your CV, although maybe not go into too much detail unless they ask at the next interview. I feel you need to focus on your recovery and not be too hard on yourself. All the best of luck! 

    Community Volunteer Host with a passion for human rights.


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