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Medical Divulgence

In this infosheet, we discuss medical divulgence (also known as the sharing of medical information) with a prospective employer before employment, and with an employer during employment.

Before employment

You are not legally obliged to volunteer your medical information to a prospective employer. You may be asked to disclose whether you have an existing injury or medical condition when you apply for a job, but you can choose whether or not you do so. However, 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.

Other questions:

  • What is a ‘reasonable request’ for medical information?
  • What questions can my prospective employer ask me?
  • What is a pre-employment medical assessment?
  • Can a prospective employer assess your employment application based on your medical information?

During employment

All employees are obliged to obey the lawful and reasonable directions of their employer. Any willful failure to obey a lawful and reasonable direction may amount to serious misconduct. This means that the employer may be entitled to dismiss the employee without notice.

A request or demand for medical information is likely to be a lawful and reasonable direction if it relates to the employer’s obligations to provide a healthy and safe workplace or to make changes to accommodate a worker with a disability.

Other questions:

  • Do I need to tell my employer why I was sick?
  • What medical information must I disclose to my employer?
  • Do I have to see the company doctor?
  • Can my employer ask to speak to my doctor?
  • My sick leave has run out. What if I get sick?
  • What do I do if I have been dismissed?
  • I think I’ve been discriminated against, what should I do?

For further support

Answers to the questions above 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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