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Equality Bill to terminate pre-employment health questionnaires

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The government has announced that UK employees will no longer need to disclose illnesses or disabilities during pre-employment questionnaires under new Equality Bill proposals.

Until now, employers have been legally able to quiz job candidates on the state of their health and well being, discovering any disabilities, medication requirements and conditions in the process.

But this week the government announced the most surprising element of its impending Equality Bill, to be introduced later this year, which will make employee healthcare screening illegal.

The “turning point in equal opportunities” has been welcomed by charities and campaigners, celebrating that factors with no bearing on an individual’s ability to perform in employment will potentially be quashed.

“The government’s decision to introduce the amendment should put a stop to this discriminatory employment practice, which deters so many people with mental health problems from applying for jobs,” said Paul Corry, Director of Public Affairs at mental health charity, Rethink.

Currently, job applicants have the option of whether to disclose a condition or disability to employers under the Disability Discrimination Act. But, if enforced, the new proposal would mean they can keep their conditions secret.

However, the Equality Bill and all its subsequent reforms are still someway from becoming legislation and are still being debated in the House of Lords.

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Written by Andrew Hodges

January 27, 2010 at 5:04 pm

Posted in Comment, LinkedIn

Tagged with , , ,

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