Pre-employment health screening - anxious!

Hi,

I've just been offered a new job, full time, as part of a year long software project. There is the possibility of a permanent contract if everything works out.

The job looks and sounds really interesting - I've done a bit similar work as part my current job (the managers took a lot of convincing to reluctantly let me try it!) and I found it the singlemost enjoyable thing that I'd done. So I'm really happy to be starting a job where I'll have this sort of work full time, and for a manager who clearly, strongly believes in it. The organisation allows everybody to work remotely, and to work flexibly at times which suit you. They use an agile methodology, so a set structure of regular meetings to discuss and track progress and plan work - I think this will really help me cope with change, plan my time, and keep focussed on my work!

So it feels like a good fit for my skills and interests, doesn't require lots of "presenteeism" or sitting in an office, and has a structured workload. It all looks really promising.

And I'm really pleased to have found a way out of my current job. I'd been unhappy for a long time, and in the last few months it had gone seriously downhill. I'd been encouraged into my current job by a manager who promised tonnes of training and support, but none of it was ever delivered, and the new line manager was extremely critical of my work. I'd struggled on, getting demotivated and stressed and, although there had been changes, my relationship with my manager and with the rest of the team had gotten extremely difficult. I was constantly told I wasn't communicating well enough with the team and they kept piling on more and more work, criticising me for any error they could find. I recently took sick leave for stress and I was openly told that if it wasn't for my Asperger's diagnosis they would have used a formal capability process against me. The environment and culture was absolutely toxic and I'm extremely glad to have found a way to leave.


Buuut... I don't know anything about my new employer's approach to disability. I can't find any policies or info on their website, and they don't have a "disability confident" logo or anything like that.
I have an Asperger's Syndrome diagnosis, but I didn't declare this on my application form or ask for adjustments in the interview, so my new employer don't currently know.

I worry that disclosing my diagnosis might shape how my new colleagues think of me and make them feel less comfortable working or interacting with me. I also worry that disclosing my diagnosis will mean managers "leap" into thinking about adjustments and start treating me differently straight away. I don't want to have any adjustments unless they're needed. I'm pleased to have gotten through the interview without adjustments.

However, the offer of a new job is dependent on a medical health screening. I've been given a formal offer, but it can be withdrawn if I don't pass the health screening.

This has made me extremely anxious. I don't know what to expect from the medical questionnaire.

If I declare my Asperger's diagnosis in the medical questionnaire and they tell my line manager... I wouldn't want that to happen and my line manager wouldn't like that I hadn't discussed it directly first. I could annoy my new boss or, worse, give them the spooks such that they radically change or even withdraw the job.

If I don't declare my Asperger's but find that I need adjustments in the job later... will I even have a leg to stand on? They would want to know why I hadn't declared it sooner. Would I be violating my contract by not declaring it at this stage? It could harm me in the long run.

I had long suspected I had Asperger's but, in all honesty, I would have been happy never to have been diagnosed. The key motivator in me getting a diagnosis was to try to explain and protect myself in my old job. Now that I'm moving on the from the job, I kind of want to draw a line under it.

I'm really stuck and anxious. I want to get through this as quickly as possible so I can resign from my old job and move on. But I really don't want to mess this new job up before it's even started.

Am I obliged to disclose my diagnosis? Should I disclose it? I really don't know to do!  

Thanks for any advice.

  • Hi NAS67383,

    You might find it useful to look at the information on our website about disclosing a diagnosis at work.  You can find that here: www.autism.org.uk/.../work.aspx

    There are quite a few other threads on the Community where this issue is discussed, for example this one: https://community.autism.org.uk/f/adults-on-the-autistic-spectrum/8198/autism-at-work.  If you take a look around you might find insights from others that are useful to you.

    I hope that helps.

    Kerri-Mod

  • To disclose or not!

    This is a minefield. 

    In 2018 I was offered a job and asked to fill out a full health questionnaire.  I filled it out honestly, disclosing all my health problems, that are known to my GP, such as anxiety, heart failure, high blood pressure,  anaemia. All operations, full list of prescription medicines that I take.

    I showed it to my employment advisor.  She tore the health declaration to pieces and threw it in my face.  Shouting that this is what will happen to my job offer if I admit to all this.  She ordered me to lie and not even admit to my blood pressure problems or any medications.

    Several weeks into the job, and severe bullying & harresmement,  I went on sick leave due to stress.

    Months later at my dismissal hearing they brought up my health declaration and accused me of lying and deceit. 

    I got sacked with no notice.