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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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I was diagnosed with MS in January 2015. My current employers

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Hi. I was diagnosed with MS in January 2015. My current employers have been great about my diagnosis and as I'm in early stages, have no current illness or disability - in fact you wouldn't guess I have MS. I have recently been offered a job with another company. On my application it asked me if I had a disability. I answered No because I don't. They haven't asked me any other health questions at any of my interviews and I won't need a health check before I start. My question is, am I legally obliged to tell them about MS when I formally accept the job? Should I tell them about my MS when I start working for them? Or should I not tell them, have them take me on face value? (for myself rather than the illness) and prove that I can do the job first before I tell them - which may not be for a number of years if I'm not suffering any side effects. Many thanks
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. So to clarify the condition will have no effect on your ability to d the job to start with, or for some time to come?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes that is correct. In fact 12 months after diagnosis I've managed to continue with my 10 hour days!! Still doing all the tasks I did before and some additional, so the diagnosis has no impact on my ability to carry out my existing and new role as PA.
It is unlawful for an employer to ask you about your health or medical history before they make you an offer of employment. The only circumstances they can do that in would be to find out if you need assistance as part of the application/interview process or to find out if there is something which will affect you performing an intrinsic part of your duties. Once an offer has been made they can ask you about your health and you can then answer any questions asked of you. In terms of whether you have a disability, technically you do because under law a diagnosis of MS automatically means you are disabled, whether you have any symptoms or not. So you may wish to clarify that with them. Doing so will obviously inform them that you do have the condition, although even if they knew about it they should not treat you any differently. If they withdraw the job offer or treat you detrimentally in any other way then that would most likely amount to unlawful discrimination on grounds of disability which you can challenge if needed. I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for that much appreciated, although I'm now a little concerned that I said I didn't have a disability on my application form and you are saying that technically I do. Does mean i have lied on my application form and they could withdraw the offer because of that. I have been assessed by the government and are not classed as disabled to claim a disability allowance or parking permit.
Do not be too worried about that – this is a technicality and something which a lay person may not know unless they knew the specific laws around this…and you would not be expected to. So no, this is not really going to be seen as lying, you can easily plead ignorance because a normal person would not treat a symptom-less condition as a disability. However, as mentioned if you wanted to clarify this with them you could and state that you have been told that technically it will amount to a disability so you just wanted to set the record straight. If they withdraw the offer as a result then I would be very surprised and would again argue that it is potential discrimination. Also being disabled in law is not the same as being disabled for benefits or parking permits and that will again help you because as mentioned the definition is down to a legal technicality, buried in hundreds of pages of legislation so you would not be expected to know it of the top of your heard and based on the fact you are not classified as disabled for other purposes, you could have easily assumed the same applies to this. Hope this clarifies?
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Fab, Thanks very much for the clarification.
You are welcome, all the best