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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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Can an employee refuse me a job because i am bi-polar. I have

Resolved Question:

Can an employee refuse me a job because i am bi-polar. I have the job offer but now have to have a medical which will bring up my mental health, which i havn,t yet disclosed.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones : Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What is the nature of the job?
Customer:

Field Agronomist for Novozymes.

Ben Jones : Will the bi polar affect the job in any way? Please note I am just traveling so there may be a slight delay in responding?
Customer:

No

Customer:

it shouldnt do as long i take medication.

Customer:

Did,nt disclose my illness in the interview.

Ben Jones :

Thank you. Your condition is likely to be classified as a disability in law, which means that you get protection against discrimination because of it. That means that the employer cannot treat you detrimentally because of it and for example refuse to employ you as a result.


 


It is unlawful to ask health-related questions before making a job offer to an applicant, but this is allowed once the offer has been made. Nevertheless the employer must ensure that they are not discriminating against the applicant and are not treating them detrimentally because of any disability they may have. That means they are entitled to ask you health questions if these may impact your ability to do the job safely, but this must be a specific issue, not just a general one. Let’s say you were a bus driver and had applied for a job but you are blind in one eye – that may significantly impact your ability to do the job safely and the employer may ask you about this and even consider not offering you the job as a result. However, if you were working in an office and this would not impact in any major way on your ability to do the job, then it is irrelevant and should not be considered by the employer.


 


Similarly, your condition would not really impact on the ability to do your job, especially as it can be controlled by medication, so this should not be a relevant factor when the employer decides on whether to employ you or not.

Customer:

Emigrated to N.Z and had a breakdown so left my job, do i have to disclose this.

Ben Jones :

The questions need to be relevant to the job you are applying for. A good example is provided by the EHRC Code:


An employer requires all successful job applicants to complete a health questionnaire. The questionnaire asks irrelevant questions about mental health and in answering the questions an applicant declares a history of a mental health condition. If the employer then refused to confirm the offer of the job, the unsuccessful disabled applicant would be able to make a claim of direct discrimination because of disability."

Customer:

Thankyou.

Ben Jones :

You are welcome

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