According to the 2010 Equality Act, you cannot be refused employment or be treated unfairly because of asthma. For this reason, you do not necessarily have to tell your employer that you suffer from asthma when filling in an application form or even during the interview stage.
Should you be asked to fill in a medical questionnaire after being offered the job, you may have to state that you have the condition on this form, if for no other than reason than for honesty’s sake. Unless asthma makes performing the duties the job requires impossible, you should not be rejected. There are, however, good reasons to think again and tell your employer about the condition.
Good reasons for disclosure
First of all, telling your employer about this respiratory condition will allow them to make some reasonable adjustment to help you do your job safely. This could involve assessing and minimising potential asthma triggers within the working environment, as well as, for example:
- Providing protective equipment
- Altering premises
- Modifying duties
- Allowing for time off for treatment or assessments
Alterations to the environment may, for example, consist of implementing a no perfume policy; controlling dust levels or altering working practices, procedures or policies.
Things you can do
Once you have informed your employer of your asthma, it will also be easier for you to tell colleagues about your condition and explain briefly what to do in case you have an attack. Make sure you have a suitable reliever inhaler at hand at all times and do carry an up-to-date asthma attack card. There should be an individual qualified to administer first aid on the premises. You need to ensure you know who this person is, where to find them and that they are aware of what to do in case of emergency.
Another reason to tell
If you do not inform your employer about you respiratory problem, he can do nothing to ensure your health and safety. However, if you have informed them and are later exposed to triggers causing your asthma to get worse, you may qualify for work injury compensation.
Ask for help
Accident Advice Helpline boasts over 10 years’ experience in securing compensation for workers after accidents at work or following exposure to harmful substances triggering asthma and other respiratory diseases. Ask us to provide you with an experienced lawyer to help you conduct your claim for compensation by calling 0800 689 0500.
Date Published: March 2, 2015
Author: Accident Advice