Pre-employment health question
EHRC Checklist for employers
Section 60 of the Equality Act 2010 makes it generally unlawful to ask questions about disability and health before you make a job offer. Set out below is a non-exhaustive checklist of actions for employers that will help to promote compliance with Section 60.
- Review recruitment policies, practices and procedures to analyse and ensure compliance with Section 60.
- Remove general questions to job applicants and third parties that relate to health and disability (e.g. questions concerning sickness absence) in recruitment materials.
- If seeking references in advance of an offer being made, do not ask for information about sickness absence.
- Train employees and instruct agents making recruitment decisions of their practical responsibilities under Section 60, especially on what they can and cannot do.
- Structure the recruitment exercise, so far as is possible, to focus objectively on relevant and necessary skills, knowledge, abilities and experience, avoiding reference to health and disability questions that do not fall within legitimate Section 60 exceptions.
- Clearly explain why information about disability is being sought for monitoring purposes, spelling out what this information will and will not be used for.
- Where possible, separate disability monitoring data from other information provided by job applicants and take all necessary steps to ensure that this information is not used by those making recruitment decisions.
- Ask questions about reasonable adjustments relating to the recruitment process at the appropriate stage, f or example, in the job advert in relation to adjustments to completion of forms or CVs; or after shortlisting candidates in relation to adjustments to tests, interviews or assessments.
- Clearly explain when exceptions to Section 60 are being used and why you believe it is necessary to ask disability- or health-related questions.
- Take care to refer candidates to occupational health practitioners only after a job offer has been made.
- Provide instructions to occupational health practitioners that discourage adverse assumptions being made about disability, and enable proper consideration of reasonable adjustments, where required, resulting in appropriate recommendations.
- Incorporate Section 60 compliance measures within the policies, practices and procedures in place to prevent unlawful discrimination from arising in the recruitment process as a whole.
- Monitor and review the effectiveness of such compliance measures, and take additional action to achieve compliance where needed.
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