By Joanna Weekes
When you are hiring new workers, one thing that is important to consider is whether the potential employee will be able to perform the inherent requirements of the job for which they have applied, e.g. for health and safety and workers’ compensation reasons.
While this may be an important process when engaging workers, it can also be legally risky…
Follow these DOs and DON’Ts to make sure you don’t cross the line when giving your potential new workers pre-employment medical checks.
The 9 DOs and DON’Ts of medical examinations
- DO only ask questions that directly relate to the requirements of the job. Physical tests should relate strictly to the candidate’s ability to carry out duties the job requires, such as lifting a certain weight or sitting for prolonged periods.
- DON’T test for general health or medical conditions that would not affect the person’s ability to perform the job.
- If tests are conducted by a medical practitioner, DO ensure that the practitioner is trained in non-discriminatory pre-employment tests, and understands the job requirements.
- DO inform the doctor of the type of work that the employee will be doing. Provide a copy of the position description and/or a list of indicative tasks. Offer the medical practitioner the option to attend your workplace to examine the physical environment in which the work will be performed and any aids and equipment which will be provided to assist the employee to perform their tasks.
- If the employee uses equipment such as glasses or hearing aids, DO allow them to use these during the tests.
- DO ensure that psychological tests are strictly related to the inherent requirements of the job.
- DO adjust the test as is reasonable to accommodate the needs of any candidate with a disability.
- DO tell the candidate of the test outcome and ensure strict confidentiality.
- DO provide candidates with a clear outline of the scope of the job before asking if they are aware of any pre-existing injury or illness that might affect the performance of tasks and duties.
And remember, any medical testing must relate to the specific job requirements in the role the candidate is to be hired for.