A colleague of mine approached me last year and told me he had just been diagnosed with MS.

Since then there has been a noticeable change in his behavior.

Fatigue and stress are the two main factors now affecting his performance at work.

He recently expressed that he was looking for an alternative job as he is no longer happy working for the company which he has been employed with for over 20 years.

I feel his medical condition plays a large part in his morale, fatigue and stress.

Is it acceptable or even legal by UK law for me to discuss his medical condition when asking him to reconsider leaving?

  • When you say discuss do you mean with him, privately? He may have told you about his diagnosis, but be sensitive about discussing it where others may overhear.
    – Brandin
    Jan 19, 2017 at 12:43
  • Yes, privately. Jan 19, 2017 at 15:21

3 Answers 3


You are trying to convince him not to leave. You are fine legally.

If you were trying to use your knowledge of his illness to make him leave, that would be a legal problem.


Finding a way to take some of the pressure off him is far more likely to make him consider staying. If doesn't matter if burnout is physical or mental; either way the proper response is to give them a chance to recover.


If you are his boss, you can ask him if there are some accommodations for his illness that you can make to help him be able to stay.

Be aware though that you don't how how debilitating this illness is (it varies wildly per person) and his physical condition may be worse than you know. Sometimes, leaving really is the best option for someone with health issues.

  • Very much so. And MS is another "some days are good, some day not" which can mean that the only workable accommodation for him is "I come to work when I feel up to it" and that is unlikely to work for the people he works with. But it's very variable, I've had one friend who worked 4 hours a day, four days a week, and loved her job. But some days she finished work and was absolutely shattered, other days she'd bounce out of work feeling great (insofar as you can bounce in a wheelchair)... MS is a variable thing.
    – Móż
    Jan 19, 2017 at 21:18

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