Employers have a duty of care to their employees to ensure that they and their workplaces are safe and healthy, as required by health and safety legislation and guidance and the Equality Act 2010. New employee work health assessments can help employers to identify and consider at an early stage whether any health condition or disability may require:
- Adjustments to the workplace or working practices to enable the employee to safely perform their duties
- Restrictions on duties, where there may be a risk to the person and/or others in carrying them out
Examples of health conditions include: epilepsy, insulin-dependent diabetes, depression; allergies e.g. to foods or substances; difficulties in physical function, such as sitting, standing, kneeling, walking, stairs and manual handling.
Equality Act compliance
Section 60 of the Equality Act 2010 makes it generally unlawful to ask questions about disability and health before a job offer is made. At that stage, asking suitable questions can help identify any health risks or long term medical conditions which may necessitate support from the employer through consideration of ‘reasonable adjustments’. Depending upon the role, ‘reasonable adjustments’ may include for example: provision of aids or specific equipment, flexibility around working hours or undertaking tasks in a different way.
Section 60 also states that questions may be allowable before job offer in certain exceptional circumstances, which include finding out whether a job applicant will be able to carry out an intrinsic part of the job. If this part of a job can be changed or assigned to another person then this may count as a reasonable adjustment for a disabled job applicant. Further information can be found via the following link:
Promoting health, safety and wellbeing at work from point of employment
Our Health 1st clinical team can advise and assist our clients with ensuring legal compliance in undertaking new employee health assessments, with benefits including helping to maximise employees’ health, safety and wellbeing at work and to minimise presenteeism and sickness absence.
We at Health 1st can provide support to our clients with their new employee health assessments through:
- Design of bespoke Health Questionnaires, compliant with the Equality Act and taking into account factors which may need to be considered against employees’ substantive job roles e.g. safety-related, such as driving and machine operation, manual handling, working with hazardous substances
- In line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements, processing of Health Questionnaires, with follow-up where necessary, either by telephone or on-site, with, if required:
- Face-to-face health assessments, to include as required and applicable to job role: undertaking of baseline measurements, such as near and distance vision, blood pressure, musculoskeletal health assessment and for health surveillance (link to the page) purposes e.g. lung function testing, skin assessment, audiometry