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HR tip: Pre-employment medicals

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These questions are being answered by Learn HR, a market leader in the provision of HR and payroll training and nationally-recognised professional qualifications.


Question:
"We give all new employees a medical before confirming their employment, but have heard that this is unsafe. Is there a problem?"

HR tip:
This suggests that, were employees found to be unfit, they would be rejected for work, and thus you might unlawfully discriminate against disabled people. I suggest, therefore, that you adopt either one of two practices.

The first is to make clear to the employees and to the people carrying out the examination that the purpose is to identify any medical problems, so that you can find the most effective way of overcoming them, for example by adjusting the work environment or by finding more suitable or safer employment.

The alternative is to examine candidates only for jobs for which certain ailments would make them unsuitable or for which there are specified health requirements.

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