Disclosing Parkinson's to potential employers


#1

Hi

I'm thinking of adding a note to the front of my c.v. to let potential employers know that I have Parkinson's and that as such I would need some extra leeway and concessions when it comes to my working day.

I currently work as a contractor through my own limited company (so technically I employ myself). I contract my services to a construction company who know about my condition and are not strict on what time I have to be in the office or how many hours I have to do a week. They are also very understanding and let me have loads of time off for appointments etc. As long as the work is done they are not too bothered about anything.

I have worked for some companies in the past who are more strict and who do want a minimum number of hours out of you per week and frankly I am past pandering to these conditions now with my condition. Employment has to be more on my terms now.

As a contractor I guess I need to negotiate the terms in my favour more. Where as in the past I have just gone along with what the client wanted.

Has anyone else done something similar re the adding a note detailing your condition and also some terms of employment?


#2

Hi John, thanks for posting. Hopefully someone will be along soon to share their experience. Can anyone help John with this?

In the meantime, we have a free booklet about employment and Parkinson's. It's mainly aimed at people who work for an employer, but there may be some other useful information in there. You can find that, with other information about working when you have Parkinson's, at www.parkinsons.org.uk/workandmoney

Hope this helps.

Sharon


#3

 

Hi John

I personally would include the parkinsons on my CV. If the situation arises where you are questioned about this you can explain at what stage you are at, if it's under control using medication, how or if it would effect your work. Talk about it in favour of your side of the fence. I think most clients will be sympathetic towards your plight. I informed my workplace as soon as I was DX, and they allowed me time off for physio, GP appointments, hospital appointments. I think you have to be up front with them and hope they treat you with the same respect. Not a lot of people know enough about parkinsons to judge you by reading on your CV  that you have it, so I think you will be ok in still being offered work. These are my thoughts only, It is your decision at the end of the day because only you know whether you have the capability to do the work

Good luck Sheffy


#4

I recently applied for 2 different charity jobs and disclosed on both that i had a disability and that it was Parkinson's. One thanked me for my application and sent their area manager to explain why they hadn't shortlisted me - which i was grateful for as they gave me some really good feedback.The other one gave me an interview which i thought went well - i didn't get the job. But , i've just applied for another so ,  fingers crossed , i'll at least get an interview. I don't think it makes much difference if you disclose or not other than you may get into difficulties when they find out that you haven't been exactly 100% truthful.


#5

This is a really interesting and important question. I have worked for the same large & well known UK company since diagnosis 11 years ago. I don't have experience of moving to a different company though I have moved roles within the same company a couple of times.

On balance my inclination would be not to mention parkinson's on your cv, on any application form or at interview. As I understand it an employer is not allowed even to ask you about medical conditions and/or disabilities. I think this covers helshubby's point about being 100% truthful.

On the other hand if you need adjustments to the job (location, hours of work, assistive software etc) then these can only be provided after you have informed your employer. My experience is pretty much in line with yours & Sheffy's i.e. that most people are supportive.

As you say your position is different as you are presumably subcontracting a service to a client so you can build your requirements & preferences into the contract. I think this means that even more than an employee you are free to pick and choose who you tell and how you do it.

I recommend the booklet that Sharon mentioned above. It is focussed on direct employment but it covers the main principles and has some good links to more information

I hope that helps

EF