When applying for a new job, it can be difficult to decide when to tell recruiters about your diabetes. The Equality Act now makes it unlawful for an employer to ask about the health of an applicant before offering them work.
This is subject to specific identified exceptions, including where:
- the employer wishes to establish whether the applicant will need adjustments to be made in connection with arrangements for the assessment process
- the employer is asking for monitoring purposes (but they must not use this information to discriminate against someone with a disability)
- the employer wants to improve disabled people’s chance of getting employment, eg the guaranteed interview scheme for disabled people (disabled people are guaranteed an interview if they meet the minimum qualifying criteria for the job)
- the question asked is relevant to find out if the applicant can carry out tasks that are absolutely necessary to the job.
You do not have to disclose that you have diabetes. However, if you do not disclose that you have diabetes, you may not be able to rely on the Equality Act if you feel you have been discriminated against.
If you are not asked about diabetes at your interview, it is probably best to wait until you have been told in writing that you are being offered the position. By this stage the recruiters will have already decided whether you are suitable for the job and the fact that you have diabetes shouldn’t influence their final decision.
Reviewed: October 2010
Next review date: April 2012