Applying for a New Job - What to Say and When

Ok, so this really isn't the best time to be applying for a new job, but I was thinking about moving on before I got diagnosed and I saw a vacancy that I was really interested in recently so I thought, "What the hell, why not?" and have just applied.

The problem is that it's for a public body and so you apply online and one of those equal opportuntity monitoring forms popped up which asks "Do you consider yourself to have a disability?".

Well, I don't consider myself to have one, but under the law we have the protection afforded people with disabilities under the Equality Act and potential employers must not discriminate against us because we've had cancer.

So I have answered 'no' to the question and decided that if we get to the stage where I actually get offered the job, then I will tell them, seeing as my cancer history should not have been a factor in any decision making. I'll just have to trust that they wouldn't see that as deceitful or manipulative.  They need to know because I will need to take time off to go for monitoring checks (and watch my stress levels) as a minimum, but a decent employer should be ok with that I reckon.

I think I've done the right thing for me, but what do you guys think? When would you tell a potential new employer about your situation? Undecided

Hi Rosehip,

I’m really glad you’ve brought this up as I’m in the same position. I’ve not applied for anything new since diagnosis but I was almost on the way out of my current job before I was diagnosed. Talk about timing!

I suppose when the time comes I would openly tell them, but I don’t know at what stage in the process you should or have to? If you even have to?

I’m certainly interested to hear of people’s opinions and experiences in this area.


Aha! there's really clear guidance on the Macmillan site and I suspect I probably should have answered 'yes' to the question. Well it's too late now - I'll just have to fess up if I get any further. It is a really good job and I suspect there will be hundreds of people applying for it and although I'm admittedly brilliant Wink, the chances are it won't come to anything.

If you want to read what Macmillan advises, look here:

Hi Rosehip, I have just returned to work in a new job and I never said anything until i got to end of interview as i felt on applications i know they are not meant to discriminate but i'm sure some employers do before they interview, good luck!



If you have any specific questions in relation to employment law and your position I would be more than happy to respond to your PM's.  I have a Masters in Employement Law with Distinction and my dissertation was on Disability Discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.  I am not a registered lawyer but have worked in HR for 13 Years.


Husband of a very brave lady and father of a post trachelectomy daughter.

Thanks Jim - that's a very generous offer.

Haven't got any questions right now, but it's always good to know a man in the know!