This information is designed for use by young people with a Fontan circulation and their families.
As you get older you may wish to get a part time job. This will allow you to develop your independence and confidence while learning some new skills. There are some things to be aware of when getting a job when you have a Fontan circulation.
Can I get a job?
Yes, you can get a job. Consider the type of job that will be suitable, something that suits your skills and interests and challenges you, but is within your physical capabilities. Your cardiologist may be able to guide you with this. Your job should never have a bad effect on your health.
What do I tell my employer?
You do not have a legal duty to tell your employer about your heart condition. However, you should inform your employer that you have a heart condition so that appropriate support can be put in to place if required.
You should also make sure your employer has correct and up to date contact details of the person you would like to be called in case of an emergency.
Will I be discriminated against because of my heart condition?
It is against the law for your employer to discriminate against you because of your heart condition. This includes firing you because of your health or sick leave entitlements and treating you unfairly because of your heart condition.
This does not include if you cannot fulfill the necessary requirement of the job. For example if you applied for a job that had a driver’s license as a necessary requirement and you do not have a driver’s license, it is not discrimination if they do not employ you. However if you fulfill the necessary requirements but the job is not given to you because the employer thinks you might take too much sick leave, this is discrimination.
Can I ask for support in the workplace?
Yes you can. Reasonable adjustments can be requested of an employer and they have a legal duty to provide these. This may be something such as allowing you to take an extra break to take your medication. Think about what support you might need and be prepared to discuss this with your employer. You have a right to a safe and healthy work environment.
What happens if I am sick?
It is important to plan how you would go about informing your employer if you become ill. When starting a job you should ask what the usual process is for taking sick leave. Generally a phone call as soon as possible to your employer informing them that you will not be attending work is all that is required. Some workplaces will require you to provide a medical certificate if you have a certain number of days off in a row.