Just because you have Type 1 it shouldn’t mean that you don’t have the same opportunities as everyone else when it comes to your career.
When to come ouT1 to recruiters
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.
Mighty DUK's Top Tips on job interviews
• Emphasise the positive
• Diabetes takes discipline, self reliance and maturity
• Have a test run with a friend
• Test before interview
• Use your Type 1 to your advantage!
• Research the potential employer
It can be difficult coming ouT1 about your diabetes but it’s a good idea to tell the people that you will be working with you have diabetes. You don’t have to tell everyone, if you tell the boss it will be kept confidential however you might be able to get additional support if needed.
It’s also important to tell someone in your work about what to do if you have a hypo, check out our coming ouT1 section and the hypo template link for more info. It’s really important to be on top of your Type 1 – you are the most important person when it comes to managing this!
Mighty DUK's Top Tips for things to consider at work
• Blood tests, how do I feel doing them when other people are around? Is there somewhere appropriate you can do these?
• Insulin, where can you store this at work? Do you have back ups?
• Lunch and snacks, when is your lunch break? Is it at the same time everyday?
• Hypo remedies, how are you going to treat a hypo? how will others know if you need help?
"There are very few jobs that you can't do because of your diabetes, but there are some."
There are very few jobs that you can’t do because of your diabetes, but there are some. Job restrictions include:
• The Armed Forces
• Jobs that involve driving LGVs (large goods vehicles) or PCVs (passenger carrying vehicles)
This may seem unfair, however hopefully things won’t always be this way. For example, since October 2004, blanket restrictions have been lifted on joining the fire, police and ambulance service.
This means you can now apply for jobs within these sectors, but your fitness to do the job will be assessed on an individual basis.
It can be difficult to prove that you have been refused a job due to your diabetes, and it’s probably something that you’ll need support to deal with but you are entitled to appeal this.
The Equality Act 2010 came into force on 1 October 2010. It brings together and extends existing anti-discrimination legislation, including the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA).
Part of its purpose is to prevent discrimination because of, or arising from a disability, including discrimination by employers against disabled workers and job applicants, and those associated with disabled people. Although you may not consider yourself to have a disability, workers with diabetes will often be protected.
There is more information on Employment on the Diabetes UK website - click here
• Working shifts, if you’re doing shifts, will your diabetes management need to change? Do you need to talk to your healthcare team about what to do? Lack of sleep can really affect your Type 1.
• Hospital appointments, you are allowed time off for these, however make sure you know your employers policy on having time off for hospital appointments. Don’t just miss an appointment – Make sure you reschedule!
• Sick days, your employer will have a policy for sick days that you should check out however it’s important to remember that things like being ill, having a hangover and being run down will impact on you more than someone without Type 1