Recent figures for Time to Change revealed that 92% of the British public believes that admitting to having a mental illness would damage someone’s career. Even more shocking, despite employees and potential employees supposedly being protected by the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, 56% of those questioned would not employ an individual, even if they were the best candidate’s, if they had a history of mental illness.
Given the above figures it is hardly surprising that those who suffer from a mental illness feel like they can’t disclose this information to an employer. Many people feel they have to lie just to get an interview but in doing so risk losing their job or even facing criminal charges. It is a catch 22 situation as unless the employer is notified of a disability they are under no legal obligation to consider or make reasonable adjustments at the interview stage of in the workplace.
In this situation the first step would be to give more protection to people suffering with mental health conditions and efforts need to be made to change the employer’s perception of disability.