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Work with medical issues?

  • 09-10-2022 1:04pm
    Registered Users Posts: 2,169 ✭✭✭Pauliedragon

    Hi guys. I've a new job in hospitality. I have epilepsy for which I take medication daily which can make me drowsy sometimes. I was told by my doctor that I don't have to disclose my epilepsy to any employer yet my boss tells me I should have. What's the go here?


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,101 ✭✭✭✭Mrs OBumble

    Your doctor is wrong.

    In general, if a job would expose you to things that could be an issue to a person who has a disability, then the employer has a duty of care to find out if you have that issue. They are required to take all reasonable steps to protect you from that issue. But not all possible steps.

    For example, if you are on medication for a disability, and that medication makes you drowsy, then your employer needs to structure the job so that your being drowsy is catered for. But it's pretty hard to see any reasonable way to do that in hospitality: most work needs to be done when customers want to be served, not just when you're awake.

    Also, jobs have bright / flashing lights, which are a known trigger for epilepsy: some employers should refuse to have anyone with epilepsy on staff because of that, and also have signs up warning customers of the risks.

  • Registered Users Posts: 27,686 ✭✭✭✭Wanderer78

    im not sure thats correct, even though i cant find a definitive answer via google, but i dont think employees have to disclose medical issues to employers, but id imagine at times it makes prefect sense to, tricky one id say, i probably wouldnt have an issue with disclosing my disabilities, but i also suspect i wouldnt get passed the interview stage for doing so....

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,169 ✭✭✭Pauliedragon

    I don't have a disibality I have a condition. And anybody that thinks bright or flashing lights triggers epilepsy has no clue about the condition. About 1 percent of the population have epilepsy and 1 percent of those have an issue with flashing lights. I've spent most of my working life in nightclubs and lasers and flashing lights had no advese effects on me.

  • Registered Users Posts: 27,686 ✭✭✭✭Wanderer78

    id beg to differ, i suspect its a very grey area, id class it as a medical disability, but that really is open for debate, what are your triggers, and is it very likely you d be exposed to them in this job?

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,538 ✭✭✭✭Strumms

    I don’t believe it’s a standing legal requirement for you to disclose any health issues.

    however take a look at your contract it might have in the small print that you should declare any medical conditions or should you develop anything during your employment you are required to let them know.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,169 ✭✭✭Pauliedragon

    I don't have any triggers. It's perfectly fine. My life is lived as normal.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,046 ✭✭✭wildwillow

    Does being drowsy affect how you do your job? Is it constant or after taking medication? Does being drowsy make you vulnerable to making mistakes or causing accidents. Hospitality is a very broad description so your particular role may not be too hazardous.

    I don’t know the law on disclosure but your employer needs to know how it affects you and make allowances so you are not a source of accidents or danger to yourself. You know your condition and should be able to explain what you need.

    I have a friend who has epilepsy and is very sensitive to flashing lights and people are always told not to use cameras with flash around her.

  • Registered Users Posts: 27,686 ✭✭✭✭Wanderer78

    probably nothing to worry about then, as far as im aware, medical conditions dont have to be disclosed

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,169 ✭✭✭Pauliedragon

    I don't get too drowsy. Just a few mins after I take the pill it kicks in but it only lasts about 20 mins.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,398 ✭✭✭ZX7R

    Medical condition may not need to be disclosed but the taking of medication that would affect your work performance, or affect others who work with or who you provide too.

    Worked with a lad years ago who had epilepsy and was on medication for it.

    Use to make him drowsy also anyway long story short he ingered himself on the job and lost his injury case due to the fact he didn't disclose that he was on medication that could affect his ability to work.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,169 ✭✭✭Pauliedragon

    I completely get ur point. The issue is that if I tell every potential employer about my issue I'll never get a job again. So I'm stuck on the social for the rest of my life.

  • Registered Users Posts: 27,686 ✭✭✭✭Wanderer78

    yup, this is our reality, you ll actually find those of us with long term medical issues/disabilities are forever locked into this world, we say we have equal opportunities etc, but we really really dont, so if you need to lie or simply not disclose certain information, thats what we must do to simply be....

    you may qualify for disability allowance, this will guarantee your dole, and the opportunity to work for a limited amount of time, specialized services maybe able to help you obtain suitable employment, otherwise its simply lying or simply not disclosing....

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,398 ✭✭✭ZX7R

    Don't be so sure of that,

    Most people have something wrong with them or need medication for one thing or another.

    Most employers will accommodate where possible.

    I know a person who is on several medications and suffers from narcolepsy they are a line supervisor in a factory.

  • Registered Users Posts: 27,686 ✭✭✭✭Wanderer78

    yes, some employers are very accommodating, but many simply arent, again, disclose your situation at interview level, and see how far you ll get! this is actually our reality for many with complex medical issues, again, we say lots of nice things like equal opportunities, but thats not exactly our reality at all....

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,682 ✭✭✭gameoverdude

    I'd keep stumm. If you feel fine and can do the job, grand.

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,101 ✭✭✭✭Mrs OBumble

    Except that obviously, s/he can't - because it's come up as an issue.

    Sorry to be the one to break it to you that your impairment is disabling OP - but it is. Google "is epilepsy a disability" for a range of international approaches.

    You only have to declare it when an employer says "Do you have any conditions which may impact your ability to do this job". Your average hospitality employer won't bother to ask - but when/if they do, you need to tell.

    And you also do need to tell them if you need an accommodation like a 20 minute break after taking a pill - and if that's all you need, it should be manageable (provided you're not taking a pill every 2 hours!)

  • If you’ve not told your employer they can only judge you by your actions. If you are acting dosey for 20 minutes they will think you are on drugs (and they will be correct).

    You can be fired, especially if in the job less than 12 months, if you are working below par for 20 minutes a shift. Can you take the medications at the start of a lunch break?

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,682 ✭✭✭gameoverdude

    I dunno.

    They didn't say they'd be unable to do the job after they taking medication, just that they'd feel somewhat lethargic for a few minutes afterwards.

    Feck it. I feel the same way after lunch!

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 9,286 Mod ✭✭✭✭Jim2007

    The question is could you as a result of having an episode or being drowsy cause an accident that would result injury to a colleague or a member of the public?

  • Registered Users Posts: 18,002 ✭✭✭✭recode the site

    It may not be a black & white legal issue, but it is very good practice to disclose a condition which might occur in the course of work as a health & safety issues, especially that colleagues can be informed of first aid measures. Epilepsy is a hugely variable condition with different manifestations, and I had colleagues with it and knew what to do, and more especially what NOT to do in the case of an occurrence. It certainly shouldn’t preclude employment in most situations, I have a friend who works successfully as a doctor with the condition well controlled. The medication can cause a floaty feeling, I’ve been on it for nerve pain management, but often the body adapts to the side effects so the job can be done successfully.

    Boys and girls, repeat after me 20 times: “I should have known, but I had to learn”.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,169 ✭✭✭Pauliedragon

    Very true. Its a shame it has to like that though. I can can do my job no problem.

    No I wouldn't cause any injury to a, colleague or a member of the public. I can legally drive a car. I would argue someone turning up at 10am who's been out on the drink or other chemicals are more dangerous than me.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,713 ✭✭✭Augme

    If you have a medical condition that has the potential to cause a health or safety issue then you do have to disclose it. Legal ally there is also an onus on employees to when it comes to health and safety in the work place.

    Quite common for cases in this area not to be black and white and the reality is often the two both parties will have differing views on whether an employees medical condition does have the potential to cause healthy or safety issue. There basically isn't a clear cut yes or not answer as to whether you have to disclose.