Telling employers about your peanut allergy

Posted on: Tue, 06/14/2016 - 9:59pm
Momobubble's picture
Joined: 01/03/2015 - 06:25

I'm applying for jobs for the first time. I haven't written that I have a peanut allergy on my CV (resume) because I didn't think I needed to until I'm employed. Should I include it in my CV?

In the UK you cannot discriminate against hiring people with allergies. And honestly, maybe this is me thinking too good of people but surely workplaces should be paying attention to food allergies anyway? Because food allergies are so high?. I'm very young (19) and I'm scared that my peanut allergy will just be another thing to add to the list (young, no experience etc) making it harder to find a job.

Any advice?

Posted on: Sun, 06/19/2016 - 1:29am's picture
Joined: 06/21/2013 - 11:03

Question of the Week: Answered!
Every week, answers one of the questions posted in our community.
Our Answer:
Thank you for reaching out with this question. Your issue is a common one - and it will only become more common as more and more people affected by food allergies enter the workforce. There are plenty of new workers just like you, wondering if they should mention their allergy with their application, or what accommodations they can ask for to keep themselves safe at work. But it is important that you remember that, as you mentioned, employers cannot discriminate against hiring people with allergies! It is within your rights not only to be hired by an organization, but to ask that you are accommodated so that you can safely do your job.
Of course, your rights as an employee don’t become a factor until you are hired, and unfortunately, there may be some employers who view your allergy as a deterrent. So what do you do? Many folks on our forum here, as well as others suggest you don’t disclose your allergy until after you are hired. Others suggest you mention your allergy, if the employer asks you if you’ll need special accommodation.
All in all, we suggest you make the decision that resonates best with your conscience. Recognize that your right to work is protected, and go out into the workforce with confidence!
We hope this information helps. We also reached out to our Facebook community with your question, and you can see their responses here.

Posted on: Mon, 09/09/2019 - 4:18pm
AllergicTeen2's picture
Joined: 02/27/2016 - 17:04

I am in a similar situation as you, Momobubble. I am American, however. I am not sure how to handle it:
If you would be so kind as to give an update as to what you decide to do and how it turns out I'd really appreciate it!

Posted on: Sat, 10/26/2019 - 6:25am
Penwiggle's picture
Joined: 10/19/2019 - 02:37


I've just gotten a new job here in the UK, and I didn't bring it up in my interview or anything like that. But as part of the process of starting work, I was scent an occupational health assessment form, to see if the company needs to make any adjustments due to a disability etc. I did list all of my allergies on the form, but it's not something, or shouldn't be something, that interferes with getting or keeping a job.

I do plan on having a talk with the First Aider in our office and my manager, just so they know where to get my epipens if needed. And I'm planning on being totally gutted when people bring treats in to celebrate their birthday (a UK tradition), as I won't be able to partake. But, that's minor stuff.


Posted on: Sat, 10/26/2019 - 1:00pm
sunshinestate's picture
Joined: 10/18/2019 - 09:21

Hi Pen, I'm here in the U.S. and employers cannot discriminate against allergies, which is listed as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act and I can imagine it's the same in the UK. I think it's important to let your co-workers around you know about your allergies. That's what I did when I first started my job. It may feel a bit awkward but educating and informing people of the dangers is important. I got to know co-workers around me and talked to them one-on-one letting them know about my peanut allergy and where my epipen is located just in case of emergency. Now, your office manager can give you advice about the best way to go about this. Maybe they will want to inform employees or they have their own protocol. In my building, our office manager is on a different floor, so I thought it was important to take the initiative and let people know around me. Oh and I know what you mean about office treats. I have a couple of co-workers who will bake nut-free and peanut free foods especially for me and I am always so touched by that.

Posted on: Sun, 10/27/2019 - 2:37am
Penwiggle's picture
Joined: 10/19/2019 - 02:37

That's fantastic advice and a great way to handle the issue sunshinestate.

I start work tomorrow after being out of work for 2-1/2 years. I'm really looking forward to being in an office again (never thought I'd say that). But to have colleagues and make new friends and just have a reason to get up in the morning and go out of the house.

Posted on: Mon, 10/28/2019 - 11:48am
sunshinestate's picture
Joined: 10/18/2019 - 09:21

Pen, I'm so happy for you. I understand how you feel. I worked from home and then went back into the corporate world and haven't been happier. Having a purpose, making new friends, dinners after work, it's all so nice. Congrats and I look forward to hearing updates on how everything is progressing for you with your new co-workers.

Posted on: Mon, 10/28/2019 - 2:07pm
Italia38's picture
Joined: 10/08/2019 - 12:01

Yeah I know it can be intimidating coming into a new workplace and wanting to get to know people before talking to them about your PA but it'll give you such peace of mind. Everyone around me knows the deal and I walked straight up to people, introduced myself and told them about PA. I only got good reactions, never a bad one.

Posted on: Tue, 10/29/2019 - 1:24pm
absfabs's picture
absfabs (not verified)

I've had a few jobs and I always start by talking to my boss and human resources about it. They'll give me good guidance on how to go about talking to co-workers about my allergy. At my current job, they sent an email directly to my team, the people who all work directly with me and sit near me, informing them of my allergy and also educated them on the seriousness of the allergy. A couple of people talked to me more about it which I appreciated.

Posted on: Wed, 10/30/2019 - 10:57am
penelope's picture
Joined: 10/07/2019 - 19:07

This was intimidating for me at first because I'm kind of an introvert so to walk up to co-workers and tell them about my allergy was intimidating but then I would think of the life or death aspect and I knew that I had to get over this fear. Fortunately everyone embraced me and my allergies. They're all so supportive. Now looking back, my fears of telling them were so silly.

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