I’m terrified I’ll be let go by my boss if I tell him I've been diagnosed with a degenerative illness | The Sun

APPRENTICE star and West Ham United vice-chair Karren Brady answers your careers questions.

Here, she helps a reader who has been diagnosed with a degenerative illness.

Q: I’ve recently been diagnosed with a degenerative illness and I haven’t told my boss, because I’m terrified I’ll be let go.

I feel pretty well at the moment and I need to keep providing for my family until I’m no longer able to work or hide my illness.

But are there any rules around this?

I hate lying to my colleagues, but financial security is even more important to me and my family now.


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Kirstie, via email

A: I’m so sorry to hear about your diagnosis.

Dealing with a degenerative illness is challenging, and it’s understandable that you have concerns about how to manage this situation while also financially supporting your family.

The Equality Act 2010 prohibits employers from discriminating against disability.

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You are not obligated to disclose your illness to your employer unless it directly affects your ability to perform your job.

However, it may be helpful to do so in order to get support if and when you need it.

The company has to make reasonable adjustments to support you in the workplace, such as changes to your working hours or providing equipment to assist you.

It’s illegal for them to terminate your employment solely because of your illness, as long as you’re capable of performing your job with adjustments in place.

If your condition worsens or you need time off, you may be entitled to sick leave and statutory sick pay, so read your contract and company intranet for details.

And reach out to charities that specialise in helping people with your illness.

The most important thing here is your health and doing everything you can to feel well for as long as possible.

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