Job seeking

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Hi, I am looking to change my job and am mid treatment for Breast Cancer. I am waiting to start radiotherapy.  Do I have to declare this to any future employers? I am hoping to have finished treatment by the time I start a new job as I have to give 3 months notice in my current contract. Many thanks

  • Hello  

    Thank you for reaching out to us with your question. My name is Polly and I am a work support adviser on the Macmillan support line.

    During recruitment an employer needs to be mindful of their obligations under the Equality Act 2010 or the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (if you live in Northern Ireland).

    This means that the aim of any recruitment is to find the best candidate for the post regardless of any protected characteristic. Please have a look at the ACAS Website

    As a cancer patient you are classed as having a disability automatically and you are protected from discrimination. Please see: Your Rights at work

    A job seeker makes the best application for a job when they match their personal qualities, their experience, and their qualifications to the role and show this in the application. Your focus needs to be on how you meet the requirements for the job as laid out in the person specification and the job description. It is a good idea to research the company and learn about its values and activities. Those of you who live in Northern Ireland have a different legal framework which allows  employers to ask about health when they are recruiting, in the rest of the UK they cannot ask about your health unless the role requires standards of physical fitness.

    Look for employers who subscribe to the Disability Confident quality mark. If you meet the basic criteria for a post, then a disability confident employer can guarantee an interview if you tell them, you have a disability.

    If you get through the recruitment process and are offered a job without disclosing your cancer diagnosis it is because you are the best candidate for the role. After a job offer is made some employers can ask about your health and you may be required to complete a health declaration form. Once the employer knows about your cancer diagnosis then all the obligations under anti-discrimination legislation are engaged and they will need to make reasonable adjustments for you in your new role.

    Tips on careers and support when you are looking for work.




    Northern Ireland


    Good Luck


    Work Support Advisor
    Remember you can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or by email