Some organisations include a medical assessment as part of their recruitment process to gather additional information that will be used to select the successful candidate. However, it is important that employers do not discriminate against any candidate when using this information.

It is against the law to refuse to employ a person based on information from a medical examination that discloses a disability if the information is not related to how adequately the person could perform the inherent requirements of the job.

It may be necessary for candidates to undergo medical testing to assess potential health risks. These risks could be high for candidates with particular health problems working in certain jobs; for example, jobs that involve heavy lifting.

Organisations that require medical testing as part of the selection process should:

  • Ensure the medical examination only recovers information relevant to the essential requirements of the job
  • Ensure test results remain strictly confidential
  • Advise the candidate of the results.

Example: A woman disclosed that she had depression in a pre-employment medical assessment for a job at a supermarket. After this information was disclosed, the supermarket withdrew the offer of employment to her. This could be discrimination.