To ascertain employers' attitudes to interviewing and hiring job applicants with a history of mental illness and, in particular, to assess the potential effect on job prospects for applicants with a history of admission under the Mental Health Act 1983. A postal tick-box questionnaire was sent to 174 companies; there was a 32% response rate.
The main factors influencing employers' hiring decisions were medical opinion regarding an applicant's fitness to work and their employment and sickness records. In about three-quarters of small companies and half of large companies, questions about mental illness are simply never asked.
Approved social workers have no reason to caution people assessed under the Mental Health Act 1983 that being detained could harm their job prospects.
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