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Surgery or Job?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by kenbriooo, Jan 21, 2020.

  1. kenbriooo

    kenbriooo New commenter

    Hi all,

    I'm currently in the process of looking for new jobs as I make the step up to SLT. However, I have torn the TFCC in my wrist which requires surgery. Daily pain is manageable but likely to continue to worsen until surgery.

    But, do I put the surgery off until I'm in a new job for a while or do I tell them at the application stage that I need surgery?

    Best outcome from surgery is 2 weeks off work, but could be longer plus PT. I could possibly get it done during a holiday period but there is no guarantee with it being NHS.

    Anyone born through a similar situation?
  2. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Neither. You apply, you don't need to mention the impending surgery. When you get a date for the surgery, you let them know. They'll have to accept your absence, just as your current school would. If it turns out that there is a little flexibility in scheduling the op, you may be able to reduce the impact, but if they offer you a date in October, don't go putting it off until Easter or the summer (but do ask about half-term).
  3. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    Good luck with the surgery and the best of luck with recovery. Remember, things can work out perfectly. Brilliant new job, great school, more money and being totally pain free.
    Curae and jlishman2158 like this.
  4. grumbleweed

    grumbleweed Lead commenter

    I wasn't moving jobs when I had my hip done but I did need 12 weeks off and put it off twice because of busy times at work. I was lucky that when I saw my consultant, he got out his diary and told me when he could do it.
    just remember, if you leave it, recovery can take longer, as I learned to my cost.
  5. celago22

    celago22 Established commenter

    Surely it's best to be honest with your new school?

    I would just be upfront and tell them that you are waiting for an appointment that will likely result in a recovery time which could infringe on term times. It's best to be honest so that the school can plan cover and staffing.

    If they don't like that then they are obviously not a very understanding school!
  6. livingstone83

    livingstone83 Occasional commenter

    A little naive, that. No offence.

    Ultimately, with schools being criminally underfunded a two week absence is likely to be a consideration - particularly if it's a close call between two candidates. Possibly a sub-conscious consideration, but still.

    Honesty means to not lie, it does not mean that you should feel the need to blurt out everything that could possibly be seen in a negative light.

    I'm pretty sure that the Equality Act 2010 covers this;

    Except in very restricted circumstances or for very restricted purposes, employers are not allowed to ask any job applicant about their health or any disability until the person has been:
    • offered a job either outright or on a conditional basis, or
    • included in a group of successful candidates to be offered a job when a position becomes available, where more than one post is being recruited to (for example, if an employer is opening a new workplace or expects to have multiple vacancies for the same role).

    This includes asking such a question as part of the application process or during an interview. It also includes sending you a questionnaire about your health for you to fill in before you have been offered a job. Questions relating to previous sickness absence are questions that relate to health or disability. This applies whether or not you are a disabled person. No-one else can ask these questions on the employer’s behalf either. So an employer cannot refer you to an occupational health practitioner or ask you to fill in a questionnaire provided by an occupational health practitioner before the offer of a job is made (or before you have been included in a pool of successful applicants) except in very limited circumstances, which are explained next.

    The point of stopping employers asking questions about health or disability is to make sure that all job applicants are looked at properly to see if they can do the job in question, and not ruled out just because of issues related to or arising from their health or disability, such as sickness absence, which may well say nothing about whether they can do the job now. The employer can ask questions once they have made a job offer or included you in a group of successful candidates. At that stage, the employer could make sure that your health or disability would not prevent you from doing the job. When You Apply for a Job must also consider whether there are reasonable adjustments that would enable you to do the job.

    So, yeah.

    nailed it.

    /thread, as the kids would say.
  7. celago22

    celago22 Established commenter

    That's why it is mentioned once the job has been secured, which is what I said in my original post.
  8. smurphy6

    smurphy6 Senior commenter

    I had my hip replaced the first week of term and had the rest of that term off to recover. My school was brilliant. Many HTs understand that life is life and sometimes staff need to be fixed and that is fine and no problem.

    My HT used to refer to my impending hip operation as when I would be off being repaired which always made me laugh. There are many great HTs out there and so go for the new job and get yourself ‘repaired’ as well. Best wishes to you.
    Curae, catbefriender and agathamorse like this.
  9. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Indeed, even heads sometimes have hip ops.
    Curae likes this.
  10. GreenTrees123

    GreenTrees123 Occasional commenter

    I wouldn't necessarily mention it to the school, but as a headteacher, it's also not something that would put me off employing you.

    When looking to take on a deputy head that could potentially be with the school for 5-10 years all going well, a 2 week period of absence would not be anywhere near my list of considerations.
    jlishman2158 and Curae like this.
  11. livingstone83

    livingstone83 Occasional commenter

    No you didn't.

    The original question was;

    "......do I put the surgery off until I'm in a new job for a while or do I tell them at the application stage that I need surgery?"

    You said;

    "Surely it's best to be honest with your new school?

    I would just be upfront and tell them that you are waiting for an appointment that will likely result in a recovery time which could infringe on term times. It's best to be honest so that the school can plan cover and staffing.

    If they don't like that then they are obviously not a very understanding school!"

    You didn't mention "once the job has been secured" at all - unless I'm missing something?

    Curae likes this.
  12. celago22

    celago22 Established commenter

    Are you the Tes Police?
  13. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    You didn't.

    @livingstone83 made a correct and important point that employers cannot ask health related questions at interview and must disregard any such information that is revealed to them until a job offer is made consistent (s60 Equality Act 2010). That matters both to OP and anyone else in a similar position in the future. Accusing him of being a TES police officer for pointing this out isn't helpful to OP.
    livingstone83 likes this.
  14. celago22

    celago22 Established commenter

    I think the surgery should be mentioned once the job offer has been accepted. The point I made about the school having to organise cover does imply that the OP would need to secure the job first.
    Curae likes this.
  15. Curae

    Curae Star commenter

    Go for it. If your are a good fit and they really want you this will not prevent. However when the tables are turned do remember this.
  16. livingstone83

    livingstone83 Occasional commenter

    Well, fair enough.... Though that wasn't the question that was being asked.

    The question was, "do I tell them at the application stage that I need surgery?"

    Your reply didn't mention that you'd changed the parameters of the question to be more like "shall I tell them that I need surgery, after I've been accepted for the job?"
    Which isn't a question that was asked or that needs answering - how would one not go about telling their current employer that they need time off for surgery - unless they have an identical twin, or some elaborate sci-fi style cloning lab in their cellar?

    As for being the 'TES Police', well, no.

    I don't really understand what's going off here.

    Your reply sounded to anyone that was reading it that you were advocating telling them at interview stage.
    Taking your response as it was written, I said that would be naive and posted the appropriate section of the Equality Act 2010, stating that it wouldn't be in your best interests to offer this information until a job offer has been made.

    Your reply to this was then to (curtly) claim that you'd said something that you didn't actually say - which is weird, because it's in plain writing - 4 inches above.

    So, upshot is you've gone a bit weird, claiming to say things you didn't say and asking if I'm a member of the 'TES Police' because I said that it would be naive to inform prospective employers of surgery before a job offer - which is true.
    I said this because your reply was suggesting to do so - maybe you missed out a paragraph or something, I don't know.
  17. baitranger

    baitranger Senior commenter

    Are there any healing herbs you could consider for your wrist in place of Surgery?
  18. celago22

    celago22 Established commenter

  19. whatsabunny

    whatsabunny New commenter

    Never disclose illness in an application, there's no law that days you have to. The best thing to do is interview, show your best self and if and when they offer you a job tell them at that point, preferably in writing! If they then go back a retract the offer because of that it's discrimination.

    Employers can discriminate if it's on an application quite easily without it being obvious, but if you apply, state no disability, are successful in interview and offered a position THEN tell them and they retract it then it's blatant discrimination and you can get the union involved.

    Just go do the interview and good luck :) then get the surgery when you can, your health is more important than any job and they'll have to cope for a bit without you.
    livingstone83 likes this.
  20. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Good grief. It's NHS. You never know when you'll get into theatre. You need the op.

    You don't inform anyone of anything. It could be scheduled in August anyway. You're entitled to the op and to time off when you're unable to work! What are supply teachers for?
    Curae likes this.

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