Is Your New Recruit Fit For The Job? What To Do If You Make A Worrying Discovery

You’ve recently recruited a new staff member, delighting everyone in the business and you feel excited to have a new member of the team. However, despite making a conditional offer subject to a health check – the results have come back and do not make easy reading.

Don’t Make Hasty Decisions

If you ever find yourself in a similar predicament, proceed with caution. It is best to seek further information on the health condition and the impact it is likely to have on the job that the candidate will be undertaking. If the condition (later discovered) amounts to a disability under the Equality Act 2010 then this is where the employer needs to be extremely cautious about subsequently withdrawing any job offer on the table. It might be necessary to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to enable the candidate to take up the post, otherwise you as the employer may be liable to a claim under the Disability Discrimination Act.

Despite Possible Exceptions – Focus On The Job Role

An employer mustn’t ask an applicant questions about his or her health before offering them employment (according to Section 60(1) of the Equality Act 2010). If a job requires a certain level of fitness or good health then the employer may be able to rely on the exception relating to functions which are “intrinsic to the work concerned”. This then allows the employer to ask health-related questions to establish whether or not candidates can carry out these functions. However, these are still likely to be viewed narrowly in a court. It is likely that as a business, you’d need to clarify whether it’s possible for you to make adjustments – in order to rely on the exception. In most cases, we advise that you steer clear of health-related questions and focus on the candidate’s experience, skills and qualities in terms of the role you’re looking to fill.

If you’ve got any questions or concerns about a role you are recruiting for in your business or find yourself in a predicament in this area, please get in touch with us on 01386 751740 or at: [email protected]