Whether you're applying for a job, sitting in an interview or getting ready for your first day, if you have a medical condition like scoliosis, you may be wondering whether you ought to let your employer know about it.
Read on to find out more about what you are - and aren't - obliged to share with the people you work for. Please note that the information in this article pertains to UK law only - the law may be different where you live.
The Equality Act 2010 was passed to help protect jobseekers from discrimination. It forbids employers from asking questions about your health or sickness record before they offer you a job.
As a result of this legislation, you are not required to disclose any health information at either the application or interview stage. If your potential employer does ask any questions about your health and you are then turned down for the role, you may have grounds for unlawful discrimination.
On the other hand, disclosing information after you've received a job offer may be beneficial, as employers have to make reasonable adjustments for people who disclose health issues that are protected under the aforementioned Equality Act.
The application process
When you're applying for jobs, you do not need to mention any illnesses or disabilities on your CV, even if they were the reason you left a previous role. If your medical conditions have created gaps in your employment history, there are ways that you can fill these in with activities such as periods of study, working on your own projects, or temp work.
However, if medical conditions have contributed to extensive or repeated gaps in your resumé, you may wish to omit employment dates from your CV altogether and replace them with the length of time you worked within each role.
During your interview, you can decide how much you wish to say about your medical condition(s). If you do have any noticeable gaps in your work history, prepare an explanation that doesn't disclose any health issues. You can use 'personal reasons' as justification for leaving a role, but make sure these are framed in a positive way that matches what you're now applying for.
Focus on why you want the role and how your skills and abilities will enable you to make a meaningful contribution.
FURTHER READING: Can You Work with Scoliosis?
If you feel that your scoliosis is preventing you from following your preferred career path, the Scoliosis SOS Clinic may be able to help. Get in touch to arrange a consultation.
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