20 July 2010
Employers 'will need to withdraw pre-employment health questionnaires'
Employers will have to withdraw pre-employment health questionnaires prior to the introduction of the Equality Act.
Personnel Today pointed out that when the new legislation comes into force in the autumn, these sections of application forms will not be permitted.
Firms that fail to adhere to the regulations risk investigations by the Equality and Human Rights Commission and they may be prosecuted.
The act, which comes into effect in October, is an attempt by policy makers to clarify current legislation and make it more comprehensive.
It specifies that pre-employment health questions potentially constitute disability discrimination.
Employers will only be able to ask health questions upon job offers.
However, there are some exceptions, including when it is necessary to check a candidate's health because it is an "intrinsic function" of the role they are seeking.
An example of such circumstances would be a job in which heavy lifting is required, Personnel Today noted.
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