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proudsurvivor

Can employer tell anyone else about my illness?

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I work/ed for a housing co-op. I didn't tell my employers but I have suffered mental health problems in the past. Anyway, everything was going well but, due to an upset, I had an episode at work where I broke down and caused a bit of a scene. I didn't hurt anyone but now, obviously, my employee knows about my mental health problem. I was on probation so have been asked to leave. I accept this but problem is that I also live in shared accommodation in one of the housing co-op properties (but well before I got the job) and now my employer wants to tell all the people at my house about my episode too because my employer says it owes the other residents (and their children etc) a duty of care....

 

Is this right? Can my employer tell them personal information about me it has obtained as my employer? I am very worried - I haven't slept in days. Not only have I lost my job but I'll lose the friends who I live with. They don't know about my problem. Please, please help me. Thanks.

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Hello and welcome to CAG. I'm sorry to hear about your problems.

 

When you joined the employer, were you asked about mental health problems please?

 

I don't know how they stand about telling other people and would suggest they need to treat this with caution. Are they the only people who know at the moment, and did they hear it from you?

 

I don't know if you're able to tell us what you have. Could you be subject to another episode of it, do you think?

 

I'm sure some other caggers will be along to comment.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Regarding your housing problem, people on the Benefits forum would probably comment on that.

 

You could either put a separate thread on there [don't copy and paste this post, the site team don't like it]. Or if you like, I'll set up a link to this thread and ask people to have a look if they think they can help.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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The other question is

 

When you moved into your accommodation were you asked about mental health issues?

 

If not, I'm not sure they can then say they have a duty to inform the other residents where you live - that's moving the goalposts in my opinion. Remember, if you didn't work for them they wouldn't have this knowledge about your health so wouldn't be able to tell others where you live.

 

Feebee_71

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The other question is

 

When you moved into your accommodation were you asked about mental health issues?

 

If not, I'm not sure they can then say they have a duty to inform the other residents where you live - that's moving the goalposts in my opinion. Remember, if you didn't work for them they wouldn't have this knowledge about your health so wouldn't be able to tell others where you live.

 

Feebee_71

 

And they have a 'duty of care' to you as regards, your personal information. Sorry, I missed the bit about you being in the house ages before the job. I don't think they should be telling other residents.

 

If you can, have a look at the Information Commissioner's [iCO] website. That's all about right to a private life, personal details being kept confidential, etc. They have a helpline, if I remember rightly.

 

HB

Edited by honeybee13
addition.

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Thank you all so much for your help. I have looked at the data protection act and am pretty sure this is classed as 'sensitive' personal information and they have to get my express consent to share it with others. I am confused about the exemptions that may apply to them (why is legislation so confounding?!) but I am going to ask them to explain this fully to me - as they should know (although I doubt it..). I suffered a lot of terrible abuse growing up (age 3 to 15) and can get very nervous/depressed but very, very rarely now (I am 40 and have worked through it). At work, I attended a course which triggered it off. It just caught me at a bad time and I couldn't stop shaking/crying and I had really bad problems breathing. The last thing I need is for my work to make a massive deal of it to the other residents. No-one really asked me about mental health when moving in or getting my job. I just want to move on from it all. Thanks again for helping 9it means a lot to me) and I shall be asking my ex-employers some serious questions about their duty under the act.

Edited by proudsurvivor

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If there are children in the housing complex, I'm afraid that the owners are obliged to inform someone if they have concerns about a resident. The safety of children supersedes the Data Protection Act. However, I do not think they can inform the residents, this would need to be done by Social Services, or maybe a Mental Health Professional after I would assume some type of assessment is made.

 

Best of luck - and keep being a proud survivor.

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