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Law and MedicineCurrent Legal Issues Volume 3$
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Michael Freeman and Andrew Lewis

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198299189

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198299189.001.0001

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Pre-Employment Health Screening

Pre-Employment Health Screening

Chapter:
(p.460) (p.461) Pre-Employment Health Screening
Source:
Law and Medicine
Author(s):

Diana Kloss

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198299189.003.0027

This chapter examines issues relating to pre-employment screening. It is common for employers to require prospective employees to undergo health screening before making the decision whether to offer them a job. In most cases, this is in order to screen out employees who may constitute an unacceptable risk, because they are likely to need long periods of sickness absence, or early retirement through ill-health. Employers engage occupational health (OH) staff, who may be doctors or nurses, to undertake this pre-employment screening. Where biological testing is involved, it is important that only reliable methods are employed. The employer has no legal duty to care for the job application until he/she is accepted into employment. There are two areas of possible damage arising from pre-employment screening. The first is physical damage. It is generally accepted that where the OH professional causes physical damage by negligence in the course of pre-employment screening he will be liable. More controversial is the scenario where the OH professional either discovers or ought to have discovered a medical condition in the course of the examination but does not alert the job applicant to the need to seek further medical advice.

Keywords:   occupational health and safety, privacy, confidentiality, health screening, employment

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