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Should I tell my employer I have M.E.?

Potential employers are not allowed to ask health-related questions, except in specific circumstances.

You don’t have to disclose a health issue or disability to an employer, unless it could cause health and safety problems eg. if your M.E. causes cognitive problems, there would be an issue if you couldn’t concentrate and your safety or someone else’s might be at risk as a result.

You may be worried in case disclosing your M.E. will put you at a disadvantage, label or stigmatise you, especially if bullying is a problem at work.

Or you may be concerned about what will happen to the information you will provide.

If you tell your boss or employer about your illness, you can ask them to treat the information as confidential.

Illness and disability

You may think of yourself as ill rather than disabled but having a long-term fluctuating illness which adversely affects daily life is classified as a disability under the Equality Act.

The Equality Act 2010 aims to protect people who have a disability, from discrimination (both direct and indirect) in the workplace.

Disclosing a disability lets employers know they need to make reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process or to support a disabled person in work.

Disabled people and their employers are entitled to apply for help from the Government through Access to Work. They are also entitled to apply for disability benefits.