Employers are expected to be supportive and make allowances for you to manage your HIV at work. This page will help you understand your rights at work.
For most people, living with HIV will not stand in the way of having a long and active work-life.
Are there any jobs that I’m not allowed to do because I’m HIV positive?
What has NAT been doing on people living with HIV and employment?
NAT has produced an extensive piece of research looking at the employment experiences of people living with HIV. The overall picture presented by the study is a positive one: people living with HIV who took part in the research were generally satisfied with their working lives and able to play an important part in the workforce, often with no or minimal additional support from their employers. Over half of those surveyed (58%) felt that HIV had no impact on their working life, and where people do need to make adjustments these are simple and inexpensive to accommodate.
However, important areas for improvement remain. Disclosing your HIV status at work remains difficult and discrimination still goes on (20% of people surveyed who had disclosed had experienced some form of discrimination). NAT’s report Working with HIV provides a useful insight of the experiences of people living with HIV at work and contains a number of recommendations for employers.
NAT has also produced a booklet HIV@ work - advice for employees living with HIV which provides up-to-date information about your rights at work.
Our fact sheet 'Sick leave and disability leave' provides further information on disability leave, a reasonable adjustment that you may want to ask your employer about if you need some time off to manage your HIV whilst at work.
Do I have to disclose my HIV status when applying for a job?
The Equality Act 2010 has made it illegal for an employer to ask questions about health before a job offer has been made. This applies to questions asked directly by employers and also by recruitment agencies.
If you have been asked unlawful questions about your health prior to a job offer, you can contact the Equality Advisory Support Services (EASS) who can help you. NAT would also like to hear about any experiences from people living with HIV where these rules have been breached so please do get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are asked to disclose your HIV status on a medical questionnaire after you have been offered a job, think carefully about how you respond. Failing to respond honestly could be considered by an employer as grounds for termination of employment. For more advice you can read our resource HIV + Recruitment: Advice for job applicants with HIV here.
Where can I find further information about applying for a job?
NAT has developed a guide for job applicants living with HIV and employers to help ensure that the recruitment process treats people fairly and is free from discrimination. You can read our resource, HIV + Recruitment: Advice for job applicants with HIV here.
If you have been asked unlawful questions about your health prior to a job offer, you can contact the Equality Advisory Support Services (EASS) who can help you.
Do I have to tell people at work about my HIV status?
Will my employer keep my HIV status confidential?
What should I do if I think I’m being discriminated against at work?
HIV-related discrimination at work is not common but unfortunately does still occur. There are several courses of action you can take if you experience discrimination at work. See our section on discrimination for further information.
How can I support NAT’s work on employment or give my feedback?
NAT is always keen to get feedback from people living with HIV. It's good for us to know if our information and resources are helpful or if there are other things you want to know. Your experiences can also inform our policy work and assist us in campaigning for people living with HIV to be treated fairly, and with dignity and respect. To get in touch with us, please visit our feedback page and let us know your thoughts.
NAT's vital work can only continue with the generous help of our supporters. There are many ways you can support us wihout costing you a penny, such as getting involved in Press Gang, becoming an HIV Activist, or signing up to a 'no cost' fundraising activity. If you'd like to support our work, find out the different ways you can help.