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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sacked for depression? 

It has been reported that Christine Laird, formerly of Cheltenham Borough Council, has been sacked for failing to disclose that she had depression in her job application of 2002. (Metro 27/01/09)

Although there are hints that the real reasons for her dismissal were more to do with poor working relations, I find it distressing that the "official" reason has been given as lying on her CV and that the "lie" was an omission that she had been suffering from depression.

What message does this give to people with depression?

Don't lie on your CV? Possibly. It is never a good idea to lie in job applications. Saying that you have certain crucial skills when you haven't can lead to trouble, for example.

Don't mention that you have, or have had, depression? Also possibly. Obviously this is an issue for the council. They felt that Ms Laird could not do her job properly if she had depression. She would not have secured her position had she disclosed that she suffered from the illness.

If you have depression, you are hardly likely to want to tell the world about it. Also, if you are brave enough to mention that you suffer from it, it is not going to help to be refused a job because of it.

It's not like it's a communicable disease is it?

Oh wait! With attitudes like Cheltenham Borough Council's, perhaps it is.

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