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Advice needed regarding applying for new jobs after a lot of time off.

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Ms Independant, Jan 16, 2016.

  1. Ms Independant

    Ms Independant New commenter

    I really need some advice regarding how much time off goes against you when applying for new jobs?

    To cut a long story short, I have needed a lot of operations due to a very rare stomach condition- so rare that every Consultant has said they have never seen it before, but it is not that that has led to my time off, it is the complications and after effects of the original condition. I ended up needing a whole year off for 5 operations, then I returned and told the School I was on the waiting list for one more op. This was a planned op and after a year of returning, I had to have half a term off as it was another major operation. In the year of returning, I did not take any time off and worked until the day before my operation. I went back without asking the Doctor for ' amended duties' in January and work has not made any adjustments for my returning after half a term off. I have basically been thrown in at the deep end- with covers, duties etc.

    I have wanted to move since I was told not to apply for a promotion when I returned, because I needed another op and they wouldn't offer it to me knowing I would need more time off. Now, I want to start the process of moving. However, I just feel this whole illness is going to cost me for many years as no school, when they find out about my time off in the past 3 years, is going to want to touch me.

    I don't know whether to put something in my application letter about my illness or whether, under the Equality Act, I am classed as disabled because illness has impaired my ability to do my day to day duties for over 12 months?

    I'm so disheartened by the fact that illness can mess up your life, through no fault of your own, for a long time.

    can anyone give me a glimmer of hope?
  2. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Firstly I am sorry to hear about your health problems; you have clearly had to be very brave for very long.

    I do admire your stoicism here, I would be a lot less calm than you about it all.

    Secondly - do find out about the Equality Act and if you are covered.

    But the important thing is this (important for applications, I mean). Are you now "cured"? Is there likely to be any relapse?

    Because depending on this depends the wording that you will need.

    Best wishes

  3. Ms Independant

    Ms Independant New commenter

    Thank you very much for your reply, I really appreciate it :)

    I have researched the Equality Act and I think by their definition, I am covered under it. It says you are covered if you had a past illness that meant you were classed as Disabled by your physical condition.

    For example, "if you had a mental breakdown 4 years ago which meant it effected your ability to carry out every day tasks etc but you have not had any symptoms since, you would still come under the Act". The same applies to Cancer.

    I am hoping that my situation has been rectified following my surgery in October. I went back working full time and carrying out all of the duties as required, I did not ask my Doctor for amended duties or anything because obviously I want to move Schools.I just feel that this illness has cost me a lot in financial terms, promotion and job prospects.

    I am still under a Consultant, and saw him this week. He has made a follow up appointment for 6 months time, but has arranged for a scan in the meantime due to my increased pain to check the operation went well and that there is no internal infection ( which has been the cause of all of my complications).

    So my questions are: Do I tick the box that says Disabled?
    Do I mention, anywhere on my application, the fact that I had a rare condition, that because of complications led to lots of operations and one long term absence and another, planned shorter absence but non in between?
  4. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Oh dear, you poor thing!

    I think that you would do well to think about having a very brief statement to counteract the absence report that the school may get. You have to bear in mind that a school has a legal obligation to ensure that your physical and mental health gives you Fitness to Teach.

    I would suggest that you consider including something like this. But only if it is true, of course.

    Due to a rare condition which necessitated repeat surgery due to complications, my absence record over the last year has been less good than I would have liked. However, the surgery has apparently been effective and since returning to work last (insert month) after the last surgery in (insert month) I have carried out all my duties effectively with no further absence.

    As for the declaration of the Disabled box, only you can say this. It is, I believe to indicate that you might have a recurrence that might mean that it would be appropriate to introduce support for you, or amend your duties. But do they need to know this at this stage of the application? You wouldn't need special amendments for interview, would you?

    But you must decide here.

    Best wishes


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