Taking Epilepsy to Work
There is no law that requires a worker to tell their employers or co-workers about their epilepsy. However, some specific jobs will need a worker to disclose their medical conditions and often to undertake a health and fitness check before they commence work, or to fill out medical history forms. These are normally jobs where it is a genuine requirement of the work that the employee be physically fit. These medical forms are legal documents and must be filled out to the best of a worker’s knowledge. In these circumstances, a failure to disclose epilepsy can be a legitimate reason for dismissal.
If you choose to voluntarily disclose your epilepsy, your employer is legally required to keep that information confidential and not disclose that information to anyone else without your permission. However, if you agree, it is often good policy to ensure that direct supervisors are aware of any safety issues or extra accommodations you may need. Although a person’s health is a private issue if people in the workplace are comfortable and aware of your epilepsy the risks posed by any unexpected seizures are lessened.
There are a number of things you can do to maximise your chances of gaining and keeping a job in Australia’s competitive employment market.
- Being aware of your rights and responsibilities as a potential or current employee with epilepsy is a good first step.
- Think about factors such as:
- There are specific employment agencies that can help you such as: