Job Offer withdrawn due to Depression
The Times have reported that a claim has been lodged stating that the claimant alleges she was offered her dream job with Police Scotland and had been given a start date after successfully completing two years of training, only to be told at the last minute that she would not be joining the force after all, after they learnt she had been prescribed anti-depressants by her GP.
Optima Health, who carry out medical assessments on behalf of the police, reportedly advised Beattie that she would need a “minimum of two years of wellness” without medication before she would be considered eligible to become a constable, she was “unable to take on the role and wishing her well for the future.”
A claim has been allegedly lodged with the Employment Tribunal, alleging the police had displayed “direct discrimination due to her depression”. Furthermore, that her offer was withdrawn because she was disabled.
When contacted the police told The Times: “We have not been notified about an employment tribunal nor have we received any correspondence regarding this.”
Prospective employers generally can’t ask candidates questions about their mental health during the hiring process but may do so once a job offer has been made.
Mental Health Charity MIND stated: “If, as a result of these questions, a prospective employer is concerned that your mental health problems may affect your ability to perform the job, they should seek more information or advice from your doctor or occupational health.
“If your job offer is taken away when you explain your mental health status, and without further assessment or investigation, this may be direct discrimination.”
An interesting case to watch for developments!
Employers should consider how they can help staff to speak up about problems that they may be experiencing. Signposting resources available such as counselling or promoting an open culture and good channels of communication where staff feel comfortable raising any problems they might have with colleagues and managers.
This could also help normalise conversations and break down the stigma, particularly when it comes to talking about mental health. If you need support with such matters or wish to know how 121 HR Solutions can support your business please do not hesitate to call us on 0800 9995 121