Jobcentre tells people with disabilities and chronic illnesses to ‘downplay’ conditions

The Jobcentre type inspired people to put a ‘more positive spin’ on well being conditions (Picture: PA/Twitter)

Disabled people and these with long-term well being conditions have been advised to ‘downplay’ their medical points, in accordance to campaigners.

Jobcentre chiefs issued a doc telling would-be staff to keep away from utilizing phrases like ‘chronic’ or ‘depression’ when making use of for work.

They had been advised to use ‘more general terms’ and to keep away from making issues ‘sound worse than they are.’

Activists stated the recommendation, from the Department for Work and Pensions, was forcing people to lie to potential bosses whereas additionally breaching incapacity rights laws.

Job centre forms tell people applying for benefits not to use words that 'make them sound worse than they are' like 'chronic' and 'degenerating'
The recommendation issued by a job centre in Dorset (Picture: Twitter)

Campaigner Jen Jones from Sheffield suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome, or ME.

She advised that beneath the phrases of the recommendation issued by the DWP she could be forbidden from revealing the situation to a possible boss.



She stated: ‘A lot of disabled people have taken this advice very personally. I’m fuming.

‘What the DWP are really telling people to do is to lie. It’s insulting to each the disabled person but in addition to the employer.

‘They have an obligation of care in direction of their staff and to make changes to assist them.

‘How can they do this if the worker is being advised by the federal government not to be forthcoming with any prognosis?

‘This is deeply unfair and extremely discriminatory to anyone with a health condition.’

The recommendation was issued at a job centre in Dorset and a bit of it was posted on-line by incapacity rights campaigners, sparking outrage.

It had the identical wording as a ‘positive health statement’ that was circulated by the Dorset NHS belief issued in 2013.

Then the shape was described as a information to ‘how you can present yourself as someone living with a health condition in a positive way’ when making use of for a job.

It stated: ‘Avoid phrases that sound worse than they’re, eg: chronic, degenerating, and many others.



‘You might discover it useful to use official prognosis phrases, eg ‘a number of sclerosis, PTSD.

‘Equally, you may wish to avoid terms such as depression, ME, or low back pain etc and use more general terms such as low mood or a mental health condition, a fatigue-related condition, an ongoing pain condition etc.’

EMBARGOED TO 0001 MONDAY OCTOBER 7 File photo dated 17/02/16 of a Job Centre Plus in London. One in five unemployed people are over the age of 50, underlying the need for support for older jobseekers, according to a new report. PA Photo. Issue date: Monday October 7, 2019. An analysis of official figures by Rest Less, which offers job advice to the over-50s, indicated that 50 to 64-year-olds are more likely than any other age group to be out of work for at least two years. See PA story INDUSTRY Age. Photo credit should read: Philip Toscano/PA Wire
The recommendation got here from a job centre in Dorset (Picture: PA)

Under the Equality Act 2010, disabled people, together with these with psychological well being issues, are entitled to safety if their incapacity has a considerable, hostile, and long run impact on regular day-to-day actions.

Senior Policy and Campaigns Officer at psychological well being charity Mind, Ayaz Manji, stated that steerage strengthened stigma.

He added: ‘Advising prospective employees not to disclose their mental health problems could mean they don’t entry the affordable changes at work they could be entitled to.

‘For instance, this may embody issues like versatile working, changes to shift patterns, or altering your working space.

‘Anyone who discloses a psychological well being downside at work deserves to be handled with respect, and JobCentres shouldn’t be reinforcing stigma by advising people not to disclose.

‘That’s a choice that must be made on a case-by-case foundation by the worker.’

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ray Tang/REX (8971672s) Labour party MP for Battersea Marsha De Cordova takes part in a meeting at Hillingdon Civic Centre to unseat Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson from his Uxbridge and South Ruislip seat. Unseat Boris Johnson Campaign Meeting, London, UK - 23 Jul 2017
Labour’s Marsha De Cordova stated it couldn’t be proper that people had to downplay well being conditions (Picture: Rex)

The DWP stated the recommendation was ‘well-meaning’ and solely utilized in one space.

Campaigners stated they suspected the recommendation was being a trialled in Dorset with a view to being rolled out nationwide.


Labour’s incapacity rights campaigner Marsha de Cordova raised the problem within the House of Commons at present, saying: ‘It cannot be right that the DWP is expecting disabled people to downplay their disability or health condition.’

Within hours, the DWP pulled the Jobcentre doc and stated people ought to really feel they’ll communicate ‘freely’ about well being conditions.

A spokesman stated: ‘This was well-intentioned native recommendation however has been withdrawn, as we’d all the time encourage jobseekers to communicate freely a few well being situation or incapacity.

‘The number of disabled people in work is at a record high and we are proud of the support we provide such as grants of nearly £60,000 for workplace adaptions under Access to Work.’



To Top
%d bloggers like this: