An employer can ask a job candidate to complete a medical questionnaire, but only after they have made the candidate a job offer and only if the content of the questionnaire complies with data protection requirements. The Equality Act 2010 prohibits employers from asking job applicants questions about their health before offering them employment. However, there are some exceptions in regards to this.
If an employer intends to ask the candidate to complete a medical questionnaire after making them an offer of employment, it must ensure that it has a legal basis to do so under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), as doing so is an act of processing their personal data. The employer would have a legal basis if processing is necessary to establish an employee's fitness to do the particular work, to comply with health and safety obligations.
Information about an individual's health falls under the special categories of personal data in the GDPR. An employer can process special category data where this is necessary for the purposes of performing or exercising employment law obligations or rights, such as in relation to health & safety. The employer must have a company policy document in place that explains how it will comply with the principles of the GDPR in relation to any special category personal data. It must also set out its policies on the retention and erasure of the data they have stored.
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