Ask about applicant's ability to work instead

Mental health advocacy group Silver Ribbon recently urged firms to stop asking potential workers if they have a history of mental illness in their job application forms ("Call to remove mental health query on job forms"; Sept 27).

Such a declaration may subject the applicant to unfair discrimination, as the stigma of mental illness is still prevalent in our society.

Perhaps, rather than ask about mental health, employers could ask applicants to declare any condition they have that could impede their job performance.

This provides potential employees with the option to assess to what extent their condition could impede their ability to work, and also let them reconsider if the job is suitable for them.

Alternatively, the declaration can still be included, but a doctor's letter can be submitted too, to certify the applicant's ability to work.

Jacelyn Chia Yee Fang, 19, third-year polytechnic student

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 05, 2016, with the headline 'Ask about applicant's ability to work instead'. Print Edition | Subscribe