Is yours a targeted, job-specific approach or do you screen everyone for everything?
Since the changes with the Equality Act of 2010, most employers are aware that a pre-employment check now follows the conditional offer of employment, but if your screening process includes everyone, what benefit does this add, is this really necessary and does it incur an additional and superfluous expense?
First, start by asking; when is a health assessment appropriate?
The approach to pre-employment health screening is changing; there is a move away from the blanket, generic approach requesting candidates to answer a full range of health questions to a more targeted, job-specific approach, in line with best practice. The Information Commissioner’s guidance states that health questionnaires should “only elicit information that is relevant and necessary.”
In fact, health assessments are now geared towards enabling candidates to work with adjustments and consequently fewer people are now denied jobs due to existing health conditions.
If yours is a blanket screening approach in which candidates are screened for a variety of conditions, (some of which may not be relevant to the role) whilst this is still in keeping with the requirements of the Equality Act in which health questions may be asked after a conditional offer has been made it may be unnecessary.
At Global Occupational Health Solutions we support the four questions approach in which HR undertake the first level of screening. It is important to state that no medical information should be provided or requested at this stage and if a candidate responds positively to any of the below questions then they should be referred onto Occupational Health for a confidential assessment.
The 4 questions are;