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Interview advice to Employers - avoid questions as to health and disability in an interview

Do you ever ask potential job applicant to fill in a health questionnaire or refer you to their occupational health service prior to an offer being made? Do you ever ask potential job applicants about their previous sickness absence? If so you could be exposing yourself to a claim.

The Equality Act 2010 generally prevents a potential employer from asking any job applicant about their health or disability, unless or until the applicant has been offered a job or placed into a job pool from which that employer intends (when in a position to do so) to select a person to whom to offer work.

Questions about previous sickness absence are classed as being related to health or disability and cannot be asked.
If as an employer you haveĀ  acted unlawfully the job applicant can complain to the Equality and Human Rights Commission which has enforcement powers over employers.

However, it should be noted that an employer does not contravene any disability provision merely by asking about a job applicants health and the Equality Act allows the employer to establish several other health issues without breaching its terms.

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