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hello everyone,


i am interviewing for staff at the moment, one potential candidate informed me during interview when i asked about level of sickness, (because i have had problems still does with a particular staff calling in sick every month, ) that she is epilectic, only when she sleeps, and only occurs when she is stressed and would need to take a day off afterwards because it sapps her energy she is also allowed to drive.


i know i should not discriminate, but i am worried about her having fits at work, especially as the post is in the baby room, just recently witness a baby had a fit and it was quite frigtening, she also does not want other staff to know.


Any advice on this issue will be most appreciated.



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She is protected under the disability act so be careful on that one. If she is not the best person for the job skills wise then do not appoint her but you can not not appoint because of her Epilepsy.

She will be under constant review re her driving--every 3 years, I believe, she will have to be declared fit to drive and her GP or specialist will not be able to declare her fit if she is having seizures regularly.

Sleep epilepsy does not carry the risks that you fear, but having seen how a seizure affects my son and his ability to continue afterwards I am not surprised she needs a day off. She is very likely to have a severe headache and feel very rough. My son feared these after effects more than the seizure.

I understand your fears but there is no more risk to the babies than if you were to appoint anyone else.

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I would say that the fact she is allowed to drive indicates that she is quite capable of doing the job. Also she would never be on her own with babies anyway.


She also has a right to confidentiality ( this was discussed recently in a topic with a different context re: staff medication)


I can see that your concern is the wellbeing and care of the babies, however if you decide to not employ this person due to this information, at least without further enquiry on her ability to do the job, then you may be liable to investigation of discrimination.


There are many different degrees of epilepsy and how it affects different people, night fits being only one of these degrees of incapacity. The settings 1st aiders should have some awareness of epilepsy, as many children may show first signs of epilepsy in these formative years. Maybe organising some training would be beneficial to staff. ( as part of ongoing good practice rather than because a member of staff is epileptic).


I attended one quite a few years ago which I found dispelled lots of 'stereotypical' views that I had, and taught me the real and varying facts of this condition. In fact your post has made me realise I could do with a refresher course as I can't remember all that I learnt.


I have employed staff with various medical conditions and/or learning disabilities. Like the children, I do a risk assessment to be best prepared for all eventualities, and to look at how best to become more informed on how to respond in any event. Also ways to adapt to ensure equal opps and inclusive practices ie: I did extra fire drills to help the staff with learning disabilities to really understand and learn the procedure, they were then carried out more regularly than I would usually do, due to her level of retention of information.



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I have 2 children at the pre-school at the moment with epilepsy, all staff have had epilepsy training, we actually had this refreshed yesterday. it does dispell all the myths that go with it and is very useful. If an employee had epilepsy this wouldn't stop me from employing them most epilepsy is under control by medication. If she does need medication if she has an attack then someone would need to know. I think if she is your ideal candidate i would talk to her more about it. I can understand your fears but as she can drive as well, this does sound positive. Hope this helps!

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I agree with all said above. I employed an lady who had epilepsy and she was fine only myself and my deputy knew she was epileptic. you should be fine.

As the others have said Doctors do and will inform the DVLA about her if she is a danger very quickly so its a good indicator that she can drive.

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Just to add to the above, My staff, having not long ago attended a HSE first aid at work course have informed me that If a member of staff has a medical condition or is taking medication that the first aiders must be informed of this in the interest of Health and Safety (which sounds resaonable enough)


Obviously I would always advise checking information which contradicts confidentiality yourself. :)

Edited by alis2son
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