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Should I apply for this job or would it be a waste of everyone's time?

(11 Posts)
MyWey Sat 20-Feb-16 21:36:49

I have found a job that I would LOVE. On paper it is my dream job and is easily commutable by public transport. Essentially it is Mon - Fri 9-5 office based but the job description also says:
*The post-holder would also be expected to work outside normal hours if operational circumstances demanded this and would be expected to respond positively to pre-notified out-of-hours requirements to support operational policing needs. Where necessary, appropriate enhancements
will be paid.
There will be a requirement for the post holder, after proving proficient following an initial period of intensive training, to undertake standby duty at home between 6:00pm and 7:30am weekdays and
24-hours at weekends, through a roster system with an allowance paid.
The post-holder may be required to travel to alternative locations to fulfil their duties. They should hold a driving licence and be able and willing to travel to other locations, preferably by booking a pool vehicle or by use of personal vehicle if at short-notice.*

I have no problem with being on call or travelling as and when required but the thing is, I have a driving licence but cannot currently drive due to epilepsy. The epilepsy is a side effect of meningitis several years ago and although theoretically I could get my licence back in a few years it is unlikely the meds will ever control it enough for that to be the case.

I am considered disabled due to my epilepsy and the equality advice does state:
*An employer should also think about whether specific qualifications are actually required or whether what is really needed is a particular skill level or task.
For example:
An employer specifies that a driving licence is required for a job which involves
limited travel. An applicant for the job has no driving licence because of the effects of
cerebral palsy. They are otherwise the best applicant for that job, they could easily
and cheaply do the travelling involved other than by driving and it is likely to be a
reasonable adjustment for the employer to let them do so. It would probably be
discriminatory to insist on the specification and reject their application only because they have no driving licence.
An employer must make reasonable adjustments for you during the recruitment process if you need them because you are a disabled person. This includes providing and accepting information in alternative formats, where this would be a reasonable adjustment.*

Would you think this would apply in this instance? I could get a cab if required to go to another location or when on call very easily but the job description says that the applicant needs a driving licence. The rest of the job is office based 37 hours per week.

I really really want to apply but don't want to have to preempt the driving issue unless there's a way of putting it on the form that doesn't make me sound like I'm "playing the disabled/equality act card".

Legally where do you think they would stand rejecting my application because I don't have a current driving licence? I meet all the other criteria even the desirable ones.

MyWey Sat 20-Feb-16 21:40:48

Sorry that's long! Bold fail too and the copied and pasted bits haven't gone into paragraphs blush

tribpot Sat 20-Feb-16 21:43:04

I think you should definitely apply if you meet the other criteria for the role and it sounds like you have those nailed. I think they should be prepared to make reasonable adjustments - the 'disability card' is there to play for a reason, I don't think you should feel that you're exploiting your disability. It's obviously cheaper for them not to pay cab fares but any successful candidate could become unable to drive in the future, whether short term due to say a leg injury or long term because of a health condition like yours. They would surely not fire that person for not being able to drive, so I don't think it is a requirement of the post. (Not like applying for a job as a lorry driver when you're not allowed to drive, for example).

Best of luck, I hope you get it!

MyWey Sat 20-Feb-16 22:01:04

Thank you Tribpot. There are about 10 essential criteria and I meet all of them. The driving licence isn't mentioned in the essential criteria, just in the bit I quoted above.

I like your point that anyone could develop a health issue that prevented them driving.

Should I just not mention it and then bring it up at interview and provide suggestions of reasonable adjustments to show I've put myself in their shoes and am not just trying to get out of doing the on call stuff or travelling?

Eek I'm quite excited as jobs that seem such a good fit don't come up much!

tribpot Sat 20-Feb-16 22:33:32

Is there a section on the application form for declaring disabilities? I thought there usually was.

I don't think I'd bring it up at interview, it should be discussed at the point where they make you an offer I think.

MyWey Sat 20-Feb-16 23:25:57

Yes there is so I would declare my epilepsy there. I think I will just be upfront and mention the driving thing but that I hope it would be considered a reasonable adjustment to car share or take public transport where possible or taxis where not since the main part of the job is office based and I would have no problem actually getting to and from work each day - bus and train options.

Thank you for your support - just putting this out there and having you respond has really helped. I'm returning to the job market after 3 years out due to having children so think I have lost some confidence and was letting little things put me off jobs. This one seemed too good to give up on so easily.

BikeRunSki Sat 20-Feb-16 23:31:40

I work for an organisation with a similar on-call requirement. We had a nationwide taxi contract for getting non-drivers into work OOH if needed, but they had issue servicing people who lived out of towns. As I am a driver, I am not sure how this resolved. Maybe something worth considering.

MyWey Sun 21-Feb-16 00:21:47

Thanks Bike. I live in the centre of town so hopefully there would be plenty of taxis. I've read up on their disability policy too and they mention reasonable adjustments which is encouraging.

flowery Sun 21-Feb-16 03:29:50

That paragraph is poorly worded. What it should have said is something along the lines of the following:

"The post-holder may be required to travel to alternative locations to fulfil their duties. They should....be able and willing to travel to other locations, preferably either by booking a pool vehicle or by use of personal vehicle or use of a suitable alternative if at short-notice."

The idea is to be clear about the requirements of the job and allow candidates to decide if/how they can meet them, not to make assumptions about how the requirements will be met thereby excluding whole groups of people who may actually be perfectly capable of doing the job. It's lazy and thoughtless drafting.

FishWithABicycle Sun 21-Feb-16 05:25:20

Using a taxi instead of your own car would be a perfectly normal "reasonable adjustment" so you should definitely apply.

Just a thought but would a bicycle (possible electric bike) be a practical alternative for you?

Good luck with your application!

MyWey Sun 21-Feb-16 10:42:39

Thanks everyone. You have made me feel much more positive about applying!

Flowery, that's a very good point. I hadn't thought of it like that but you are absolutely right. There are good alternatives to driving in this case but the wording put me off initially because I can't drive.

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