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Medical Questionnaire before Interview - legal or potentially discriminatory?

anniemanniem Experienced MentorPewsey, WiltshireRegistered Posts: 1,326
Can anyone tell me if it is permissable to request personal medical information prior to an interview?

Surely the basis of selecting a candidate should be on the candidates ability/attitude first with other details to be followed up should the candidate be offered the position?
FMAAT - AAT Licensed Member in Practice - Pewsey, Wiltshire

Comments

  • A-VicA-Vic Expertise Guaranteed Registered Posts: 6,970
    anniem wrote: »
    Can anyone tell me if it is permissable to request personal medical information prior to an interview?

    Surely the basis of selecting a candidate should be on the candidates ability/attitude first with other details to be followed up should the candidate be offered the position?

    is this an NHS job your going for ny any chance?
  • blobbyhblobbyh Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,415
    anniem wrote: »
    Can anyone tell me if it is permissable to request personal medical information prior to an interview?

    Surely the basis of selecting a candidate should be on the candidates ability/attitude first with other details to be followed up should the candidate be offered the position?

    Why not? Don't insurers ask for the same information before they'll insure you?

    If the standard of your health is paramount to the position you're intending to apply for, then I'd imagine it's a perfectly legitimate request. For example if you were applying to be a PE teacher at a school, they'd need to know if you suffer heart or other critical problems even if you don't know yourself.

    Of course, if a potential employer asks you for medical information you always have the option of saying no but what do you think the result might be?
  • anniemanniem Experienced Mentor Pewsey, WiltshireRegistered Posts: 1,326
    Yes, Insurers ask you the same information before they insure you, but that's slightly different as insurance is based on risk.

    I feel that in the first instance they should be looking at whether or not a candidate is a good one, and reviewing referees and medical information should be a secondary part of the application; job offer being based on good references and medical history.

    The sad fact is that I had never had an operation until 5 months ago, now I'm in for 3 in the space of 6 months -I had an exploratory hip op iin October and I also had another gynae op 3 weeks ago (which should have cured that problem)! I haven't had more than 2 days off for either op. I'm having a hip replacement in May and I'm concerned that this may have a detrimental effect on my chances.

    Will the fact that I'm waiting for a hip replacement influence their decision? Once the hip is done I should be fine for many years.

    I have always been a really healthy person, so this is a new worry and I don't want to be 'thrown out' because of it!
    FMAAT - AAT Licensed Member in Practice - Pewsey, Wiltshire
  • RinskeRinske Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,453
    Well, you got the interview, can't you take the form with you then and explain them that you worry about your chances, and tell them your history?
  • SandyHoodSandyHood Font Of All Knowledge Registered, Moderator Posts: 2,034
    It is becoming more common to ask for medical tests. This tends to be after a first interview and (I hope) connected with the need to modify working conditions to fit disability requirements.
    I am sure that a case will come to light sooner or later where disability has been the actual decision not to employ a suitable candidate. And the danger exists that the costs of making the necessary adjustments will put the employer off.
    But for a good employer the opportunity to identify any adjustments is just a fact of life, and that employer wants the most suitable candidate and will make the adjustments.

    Asking for medicals before taking you on is nothing new. I remember in 1985 having a thorough medical examination before I being told that I wouldn't even have an interview. (In this case the original vacancy I had applied for no longer existed).
    Sandy
    [email protected]
    www.sandyhood.com
  • blobbyhblobbyh Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,415
    anniem wrote: »
    Yes, Insurers ask you the same information before they insure you, but that's slightly different as insurance is based on risk.

    Yes but so would my usage of a PE teacher as medical fitness is equally core to their employment as much as their teaching skills, especially when we trust them with the care and supervision of our children such as on an out of school activity trip. Shouldn't schools therefore be entitled to ask this at the beginning of an interview process rather than at the end and then finding out they've wasted their time and resources on someone unsuitable?

    Employers often place the risk of their business onto the well being of their employees, and the higher their own risk and the importance of the employee within the organisation, the more in depth their requirements may become. It's possible the medical history may be required by the company's own insurers as a condition of providing cover.

    Of course this all depends on the nature of the job but removing yet another employer right by state legislation may be seen as further unwelcome government intervention and another reason for businesses to go abroad.
  • MargaMarga Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 981
    i think it is ok to ask for your medical condition ...same as when you are applying for a job and they ask how many sick days you took in your last employment...


    i believe that companies need to tackle this issue cause if for example you suffer from a bad back you might need special chair to be seated or you might need to take time off to go to the doctors etc...
  • anniemanniem Experienced Mentor Pewsey, WiltshireRegistered Posts: 1,326
    Thank you for all your input and helpful advice.

    I will fill the form in, without question, and hopefully my personality and ability will prevail over my hip!

    I think that the main think is to be entirely truthful as, in my opinion, you can't beat plain honesty.

    I'm probably being over-anxious about it all because I hadn't planned to apply for any jobs until after I had recovered from the op - it's just this one came up and it completely ticks all the boxes and I know I have absolutely the ideal skill range for the entire package, which isn't always the case.

    Suppose this is called "SODS LAW"!
    FMAAT - AAT Licensed Member in Practice - Pewsey, Wiltshire
  • anniemanniem Experienced Mentor Pewsey, WiltshireRegistered Posts: 1,326
    SandyHood wrote: »
    I remember in 1985 having a thorough medical examination before I being told that I wouldn't even have an interview. (In this case the original vacancy I had applied for no longer existed).

    Sandy

    I can't believe that you were ever rejected in such an off hand manner. That was disgraceful and must have left you feeling quite dejected at the time.

    Whoever did that to you MISSED OUT BIG TIME!!!!!!!

    I know my signature is 'treat others as you would like to be treated yourself', which sounds a bit naff, but I think it's not a bad idea on the whole.

    We wouldn't want to be without you! XX
    FMAAT - AAT Licensed Member in Practice - Pewsey, Wiltshire
  • SandyHoodSandyHood Font Of All Knowledge Registered, Moderator Posts: 2,034
    Anniem

    The employer concerned was Carshalton College. I was working full-time (and more) in Burgh Heath but had heard about a part-time vacancy. I duly collected the application and made an appointment at St Hellier hospital, had my medical and sent in the paperwork.

    I then received a reply that the vacancy no longer existed.

    Years later I started teaching at the same college in January 1991.

    As things turned out I'm pleased I didn't go into teaching any earlier, I think business experience takes time to gather and I thoroughly enjoyed the work I did in Burgh Heath, and later in Battersea prior to the time when the majority of my working week was involved with teaching.
    Sandy
    [email protected]
    www.sandyhood.com
  • blobbyhblobbyh Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,415
    SandyHood wrote: »
    I was working full-time (and more) in Burgh Heath but had heard about a part-time vacancy.

    Unlike us mere mortals, there's more than 168 hours in a Sandy Hood week.

    I always suspected he was beyond human.
  • AndypandyAndypandy Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 526
    Annie I agree that the medical disclosure forms can present a distorted picture. The last one which I completed asked whether I had been seen for any anxiety type problem in the last 5 years. I had to reply 'yes',(even though I saw the Dr about a racing heart, not worry) but at no point did I have the opportunity to explain that I was only ever had these syptoms during periods when I was bored out of my brain. I'm sure many employers would look at the form & think I'm the type to buckle under pressure rather then loving the buzz.
  • JanJan Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 654
    Good luck tomorrow
  • AndypandyAndypandy Experienced Mentor Registered Posts: 526
    Annie's one in a million - who in their right mind wouldn't employ her?
  • anniemanniem Experienced Mentor Pewsey, WiltshireRegistered Posts: 1,326
    Andypandy wrote: »
    Annie's one in a million - who in their right mind wouldn't employ her?

    Awwww thank you Andrea!

    Anyway, I've just got back from the interview and am happy that I did OK.

    60 applicants were whittled down to 6 interviewees, so I was pleased to just get a foot through the door.

    The job is ideal and I could cover everything with the knowledge that I had, brill. A couple of technical questions as I was interviewed by the Estate Manager and the FCA Company Accountant (who did the technical bit).

    I handed in my medical form, which they didn't look at then and there. Yesterday I was told that I'm getting my new hip on 4th May, so I did tell them at the end of the interview. He said "If you were back at work within 48 hours of giving birth then a hip replacement won't hold you back" which I thought was really positive.

    Before I went in I had been waiting with the current accountant who is retiring on 30th June, so I figured that I have time to have my hip replaced and still have some in house training before his retirement - fitting exams in the middle somehow.

    All in all I think probably 8 or 9 out of 10 at interview.

    Wait and see now. Expect to hear on Friday or Monday, as they are interviewing again on Thursday.

    I'm happy.
    FMAAT - AAT Licensed Member in Practice - Pewsey, Wiltshire
  • RinskeRinske Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,453
    anniem wrote: »
    Awwww thank you Andrea!

    Anyway, I've just got back from the interview and am happy that I did OK.

    60 applicants were whittled down to 6 interviewees, so I was pleased to just get a foot through the door.

    The job is ideal and I could cover everything with the knowledge that I had, brill. A couple of technical questions as I was interviewed by the Estate Manager and the FCA Company Accountant (who did the technical bit).

    I handed in my medical form, which they didn't look at then and there. Yesterday I was told that I'm getting my new hip on 4th May, so I did tell them at the end of the interview. He said "If you were back at work within 48 hours of giving birth then a hip replacement won't hold you back" which I thought was really positive.

    Before I went in I had been waiting with the current accountant who is retiring on 30th June, so I figured that I have time to have my hip replaced and still have some in house training before his retirement - fitting exams in the middle somehow.

    All in all I think probably 8 or 9 out of 10 at interview.

    Wait and see now. Expect to hear on Friday or Monday, as they are interviewing again on Thursday.

    I'm happy.
    Good news! I'll keep everything crossed for you! But Friday and Monday are Good Friday and Easter holidays. Are you sure they will come back to you on holidays or will it be just after that?
  • anniemanniem Experienced Mentor Pewsey, WiltshireRegistered Posts: 1,326
    Rinske wrote: »
    Good news! I'll keep everything crossed for you! But Friday and Monday are Good Friday and Easter holidays. Are you sure they will come back to you on holidays or will it be just after that?

    Oh yeah, I forgot ..... perhaps they were testing me and I missed it! BUM!
    FMAAT - AAT Licensed Member in Practice - Pewsey, Wiltshire
  • RinskeRinske Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 2,453
    Or maybe they didn't think about it either? It sounds like you stand a good chance, so I'll just keep everything crossed a little bit longer till they actually came back to you!
  • A-VicA-Vic Expertise Guaranteed Registered Posts: 6,970
    Nice one the best of luck :)
  • jewels.pjewels.p Font Of All Knowledge Registered Posts: 1,774
    Andypandy wrote: »
    Annie's one in a million - who in their right mind wouldn't employ her?

    Pass me the sick bucket:lol:
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