In most cases, CF shouldn’t limit your choices when it comes to finding a part-time or full-time job – but there’s still a bunch of important stuff you should consider.
Some things to think about when looking for a job are:
- Is it easy to get from your home and your CF clinic to your workplace?
- What is the physical environment like at the workplace? Are there any obvious health risk issues such as bad air quality or dusty conditions?
- What are the facilities like? Is there a kitchen with a fridge, well-maintained bathrooms and a rest-room or first-aid room? Would you have to climb stairs to get to work or is there a lift?
- Does the employer offer flexible working conditions such as work-from-home or flexible hours?
- What is the sick leave allowance, and (if you need it) would they let you have extra unpaid days off?
Telling your employer about CF
You have no obligation to disclose your CF when you have a job interview, and anti-discrimination laws make it illegal for employers to ask about any medical conditions. In fact, if you do not wish to disclose your CF at all – even after you get a job – then you don’t have to. (There are exceptions to this in some jobs where fitness and medical requirements form part of the assessment, such as the police force or defence forces).
On the other hand, once you are offered a job and start work, telling your employer about your CF can have some positive impacts. Just like the decision to tell your school teachers about CF meant that they could be more understanding about CF and your needs, your employer can also help create a better workplace environment if they are aware of your condition. For example, they can help ensure that your colleagues don’t come to work when they are sick. On a practical level, you also have the right to ask your employer to make any reasonable modifications to the workplace to help you do your job.
But, as with school, the decision to tell your employer about your CF is yours alone.
It is against the law for employers to discriminate against people with medical conditions. Possible ways that you could be discriminated against include not being offered a job, being sacked or not given shifts (if you are a casual), refusing to give you a promotion or training, or any other sort of unfavourable treatment because of your CF. For more information, visit the links below.