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Disclosing disability to your employer

ArukyAruky Member Posts: 3 Listener
When I was six years old I was diagnosed with KTS syndrome. It is rare genetic disease and my left leg is affected by it.

Since May 2015, I'm working in a warehouse. I didn't inform my employeer about the disability I have. I was afraid that I'll get discriminated, and my disability allowed me to work back then (no pain, no problem).

Now after 3 years my leg is getting worse, I feel big pain when I'm walking for longer than 30 min, I can't carry heavy objects anymore without feeling a pain. And my job is all about constantly walking and lifting heavy boxes, which makes my everyday work a pain. I'm working part time. I know that in my work there are positions that are a little bit more suitable for me, (Like 50% sitting, 50% walking), or there is position when you pack things sitting on a chair.

Can I inform my employer that I got a disability and it got worse without fear of beeing sacked?
Is he still obligated to help me with my employment even if I havn't inform about my disability when I was hired? (Like I said, It didn't give me any symptoms before, and also I was scared of discrimination)

Replies

  • GeoarkGeoark Community champion, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,365 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Aruky and welcome to the community.

    Blunt answer first, you can either speak to your employer and get support or be sacked, or you can choose not to tell them and your health and work will deteriorate and you will be sacked.

    I worked in warehousing for 24 years, in that time I worked alongside many people with disabilities and generally found employers were pretty good with disabled workers. There were exceptions. I chose not to mention my health issues until I handed my notice in because I could no longer cope. I was offered a desk job but by that time I would not have been able to cope with that.

    Since then disability discrimination laws have been improved, but it does still happen. It took me ten years to get back into employment and I still struggle with the pain. Your health is more important trust me. Had I been more open a lot sooner the outcome could have been a lot better. If you have been a good and reliable worker the chances are they will not want to lose you.

    The other piece of advice I would offer you is when your employer hopefully moves you so that the main problem has been resolved start thinking about the future. One reason why it took me so long to get back to work was lack of education and skills to move on. There is very little support for this when you are out of work and I had to take control of my own development and was extremely lucky to be in a position to do so. Now would be a good time to start looking at your skills and weaknesses for getting other types of employment.

    This could be maths, English, computer skills or something else. I would definitely recommend looking at your abilities with Word and Excel. There are plenty of resources on the internet for you to start doing these free.

    Even if you got what you have identified as your ideal solution, packing, and this worked well for you, what happens if you develop problems later on that made this less than ideal? So please consider investing in your future now.

    One reason I liked about working in warehouses was there was always work to be found, but at least 80% of my former employers are either no longer operating or have moved away. That said, it is no longer a viable option for me.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Aruky Good morning pleased to meet you. What has been said already by @Geoark I agree with.

    Also honesty plays a part here. Why do think you would be discriminated against. You have a disability. Yet you chose not to disclose it. I am and would be in agreement with @Geoark again.

    My concern is if you went in to a job knowingly to work. Had a disability not disclosed. What about Health and Safety towards your employer.  

    Understand if you had an accident then dropped a box on your foot and your employer found out not disclosed disability. Could be problems here. If wishing to claim under insurance or liability.

    If that injury prevented your prospects from working again.  You need to claim compensation and other benefits. Why not say right now and just be honest.

    Besides the point you are in an industry notorious for injury and harm.  To the body lifting and carrying. Understand if you had said early and not got the job then other avenues are open are there not.

    You have put your self at risk and remember if your at risk what about others you deal with.  At least I know if I was working my employers knew about the disability and illness.

    Harsh and blunt I know but please think of this. The other way round. You know some one has a disability caused injury to you and not disclosed it. What would you do ?

    At least I would be if I was discriminated which I have been many times. Seek help and support and try to make the employer see what I am.

    You have lied. Have you not on the form. Only the application form would say that. Employers need to know to make I possible any adjustments. These days any way.

    Years way back totally different and you were discriminated against all the time.

    Take care

    @thespiceman
    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
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  • ArukyAruky Member Posts: 3 Listener
    @Geoark Thank you for the advices, I'm planning to change my job soon. I'm 24 years old. I'm not originaly from the UK, I have been thinking about social care industry. Maybe social care job will be less psyhically demanding. I'm trying to deveolop myself. I have passed my level 2 functional maths skills recently, and I almost passed level 2 functional english exam. I have got an exam in the end of June. I'm quite good with microsoft office package and computing in general. 

    @thespiceman You're right, I shouldn't disclose it, but I had to move to the UK because of financal reasons + I needed any job to start off with. I didn't have any symptoms before, thats the reason I havn't informed my employer then.I was too afraid I won't be hired and I really needed a job.  I guees I will leave it when I find another job. 

    How hard it is to find a job in the UK without hiding your disability? how does job center looks at it? If you're not getting interviews because you're disabled? 

    I'm quite confused about the UK law and how it all works. 
  • thespicemanthespiceman Member Posts: 6,408 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @auky Thank you for reply please note.  Understand you mis quoted me. I said you should have disclosed it

    Understand still do not really know why you need to know about UK law I am puzzled.

    I am in agreement with you that you should have disclosed earlier. Yes you show no symptoms but even so. Disclosure in a employment vacancy is important.

    Why of course all of our community have concerns over discrimination and the legality of a job but now look what happening to you.

    Think of this . If you are dismissed then move to another job. They want previous employers. After .basically lying now in a interview room for another position. Why did you leave first question. Well did not tell them about my illness.

    Oh dear me next, your gone history.. So be honest and say before it happens to you.

    Have had several friends who have been through this.  Why not seek the advice of employment services like Job centre plus or on the web. Agencies.

    I am the sort of person who needs to say to employer if and when I was working.  My disability my illness. Why I am the way I am. If they discriminate because of my disability and illness. Then I will have concern.

    Then will look at other options.

    Wish the best to you

    Take care

    @thespiceman

    Community Champion
    SCOPE Volunteer Award Engaging Communities 2019
    Mental Health advice, guidance and information to all members
    Nutrition, Diet, Wellbeing, Addiction.
    Recipes
  • ArukyAruky Member Posts: 3 Listener
    @thespiceman Oh, I understood you I just wrote shouldn't instead of should by mistake sorry :). Yeah I guees I will go to jobcenter to seek for advice there.

    Thank you! :)
  • GeoarkGeoark Community champion, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,365 Disability Gamechanger
    @thespiceman

    'Understand still do not really know why you need to know about UK law I am puzzled.'

    Anyone working in the UK should be aware of their rights under UK law.  For example most employers should know they  should not ask at the interview about any disability, and unless the disability poses a threat to themselves or others in the work place there a candidate does not have to disclose their disability. In the exception mentioned this should be so any reasonable accomodation can be made from the beginning. An employer cannot be held responsible for not making reasonable accomodation if they are not aware of the disability.

    So he did not 'lie' in his interview, the employer would not ask the question and it is up to the individual when or if to disclose. And, unless the employer meets specific conditions, it is a non issue. There are ways to get past awkward questions like this and any half decent employment advisor should be able to assist in how to answer this question.

    @Aruky

    With regards to the social care industry, there may be scope for suitable work but everyone I know who either works or have worked in this industry have found it physically and at times mentally demanding.

    If your computer and Office knowledge is beyond the basics then I would suggest considering moving to more office based work. It may be something worth considering when you talk to your current employer. 

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

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