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Medical Divulgence (Pre Employment)

You are not obliged to volunteer your medical information to a prospective employer. It is your choice whether or not you disclose your condition. If the request is reasonable and you do not give the information, this could result in being excluded from the recruitment process.

Disclosure during recruitment

You are not obliged to volunteer your medical information to a prospective employer. Although when you apply for a job, you may be asked to disclose whether you have an existing injury or medical condition. It is your choice whether or not you disclose your condition. If the request is reasonable and you do not give the information, this could result in being excluded from the recruitment process.

If you get the job and you were not honest about your condition your employer may treat this as misconduct and dismiss you or take other disciplinary action. You may also have difficulties obtaining workers injury compensation if your condition is worsened by your work and your employer never knew about your condition.

What is a “reasonable request” for medical information?

A request to disclose personal medical information may be reasonable if:

  • your condition will affect your ability to carry out the inherent requirements of the job;
  • your condition will affect your health and safety and/or the health and safety of co-workers; for example, if you are on medication that interferes with your ability to drive or operate heavy machinery; or
  • your condition is affected, or could be affected by the nature of the employment (for example, a person applying for a job as a fire fighter may be required to disclose any history of breathing difficulties).

An employer may also request disclosure of medical conditions for the purposes of workers’ injury compensation insurance.

What questions can my prospective employer ask me?

Any questions asked in an interview should be about your ability to perform the job and not your general health. An employer may ask for your consent to get a copy of your claims history from a workers compensation authority. Any request for information that is irrelevant to the inherent requirements of the position may breach anti-discrimination laws.

What is a pre-employment medical assessment?

A pre-employment medical assessment may be lawful as long as it relates to the inherent requirements of the job and/or a workers’ injury compensation insurance.

Employers should use pre-employment medical assessments as part of the recruitment process and not rely on them solely. An employer should not use information from medical assessments to reject applications during the pre-interview stage. Pre-employment medical assessments should be given to all prospective employees and the results of the medical assessment must be kept confidential.

Can a prospective employer assess your employment application based on your medical information?

An employer may be able to assess your application based on your medical information if:

  • Your medical condition prevents you from performing an inherent requirement of the job even if reasonable adjustments were made;
  • It would be unreasonable for an employer to accommodate your condition for economic or other reasons; and/or
  • Employing you would breach Occupational Health and Safety Laws.

It is unlawful for prospective employers to refuse to employ you just because you have told them that you have a medical condition.

For further support

More detail can be found in the fact sheet which you should download.

Call our Telephone Information Service on Melbourne Metro (03) 9662 1933 or Regional Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania on 1800 331 617.

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