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Job hunting and post natal depression - a good combination?

(7 Posts)
circlesquare Mon 14-Jul-08 22:34:37

DS is 18 months old and I have been back at work for 6 months. I've had thyroid problems since he was born, but am coming round to my GP's point of view that I also have PND. She's offering treatment (not medication) and I'm considering taking it.

The problem is that I'm concerned that there will be redundancies at work soon and have started to look for a new job. A couple of the application forms I've had have asked how many days sick leave I've had over the last two years which surprises me. If I "go official" with the PND, would I be obliged to disclose it to a recruiter if they asked? And if so will it (or can it legally?) affect my chances of being offered a new job?

somethingsticky Mon 14-Jul-08 23:13:42

I've just had to disclose my PND on a pre employment health assesment. I'm hoping since the treatment was brief it wont make any difference.(tried AD's for about a week and decided chocolate was much better!)

if I'd have known then I would have to disclose it to potential employers I wouldn't have accepted treatment BUT I dated a manic depressive for 3 years who desperatly needed treatment but didn't have it because it would exculde him from certain careers. he never made it into his chosen career because of his illness and he would have made so much more of himself had he managed his illness.

At the end of the day if you are really ill you need treatment. you wouldn't worry about how taking time off due to a broken leg would look to employers! when I was down with PND I couldn't even muster the enthusiasm to job hunt, let alone put together a stunning CV or present myself well at interview. only you know how you feel and can balance the pros and cons

btw, I have no idea about the lagalities of non disclosure but it was lying about it that finished exp's dream career before it even started when they found out.

flowerybeanbag Tue 15-Jul-08 09:23:50

Perfectly normal for a potential employer to want to know about your sickness absence record circlesquare. If they don't ask you about it in your application they will almost certainly ask your current employer in a reference request anyway.

It's illegal to discriminate on the basis of disability, so if sickness absence is disability-related that might be different, but otherwise it's fine to bear it in mind when considering applicants.

You would not be obliged to disclose what the absence is for necessarily, although if there is a medical questionnaire there might be serious consequences if you lie on it.

If you've only been back at work 6 months how many days absence are we talking about exactly?

Better to be getting treatment for it than hide it I think.

circlesquare Tue 15-Jul-08 10:36:36

Fair enough - it's interesting to know what's acceptable. I was once advised when interviewing candidates to ask if they'd had a history of depression so that we could avoid employing them if so, which seemed like a pretty unsophisticated interview technique to me. I wouldn't lie, but have been asked in previous interviews what my childcare arrangements are and whether I'm planning another baby, so wanted to check what I have to answer and what they have no right to ask.

It wouldn't show from my sickness record, anyway - I have had three or four days off since I got back (which is a huge amount by my normal standards) but that's been because of lurgies that the DCs have picked up from nursery and passed on. I imagine many people's sickness days must be up this year because of the winter vomiting thing that floored folk around Christmas.

circlesquare Tue 15-Jul-08 10:39:48

somethingsticky, thanks for your comment, too. I'm in the position where I can muddle through pretty much. I don't feel much like putting myself through it, but feel I have to for future wellbeing.

flowerybeanbag Tue 15-Jul-08 14:32:14

Asking candidates in an interview whether they have a history of depression sounds weird and very bad practice.

Asking about childcare arrangements and whether you are planning another baby could well have been discrimination.

Asking about medical history generally in a questionnaire as sticky described is fine, as is asking for number of days off.

Sounds as though number of days won't be an issue for you anyway, so the only issue might be if you are offered a job and then have to disclose your condition. By then you have already impressed them enough to get an offer so it would be extremely unlikely to be a case of withdrawing the offer anyway, more likely to be having a discussion about how you are managing the condition, how it might affect your work, that type of thing.

circlesquare Tue 15-Jul-08 19:39:30

Thanks very much. That's made things clear.

It's actually making me think that the best thing to do is accept treatment - that way I feel as though I'll be in a better position to actually successfully market myself and decide what I want - and if it does come to being asked about it then I can honestly say I'm doing all the right things to manage it.

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