If you are new to the world of recruitment or are embarking upon a career change, you may have come across pre employment medicals and be wondering whether they are applicable to you. Since the introduction of the Equality Act in 2010, it has been more difficult to ask health and medical questions as part of the recruitment process, which means employers have to tread carefully and only consider pre-employment health checks once they have offered a position to a candidate.
This type of pre placement health assessment can be used to assess an individual’s suitability for the fitness requirements of the role and can enable the employer to put in place any necessary measures to ensure the employee’s needs are being met. There are also industries in which pre-employment medicals are mandatory and set by law and if the individual doesn’t meet the required standards it might not be possible for their prospective employer to offer them the position they originally applied for.
Let’s look a little further into the pre-employment medical and why it is so important for both the employer and the employee.
Why pre employment medicals matter to employers
Whilst a CV and an interview will give employers insights into the skills, qualifications and experience of an individual, it won’t reveal whether they are fit and healthy enough to do the job properly. In some industries, such as healthcare, transport and logistics, being mentally and physically fit is essential to the role and the safety of others, so for this reason many employers insist on pre-employment health checks.
A pre employment medical can be reassuring to the employer, as it can confirm whether the prospective employee is mentally and physically fit for the role. It can also reveal any health conditions that the individual may have which provides the employer with time to ensure they make any necessary adjustments to the role and the working environment to accommodate their new employee.
Perhaps, the most important benefit to employers is that pre employment health checks help them to maintain a safe and healthy working environment. They can help to ensure that prospective employees aren’t predisposed to injury or illness in that type of working environment and that they don’t suffer from any medical condition that might put themselves or others in danger. By ironing out these details from the offset and understanding what additional needs the prospective employee might have, the employer can ensure a safer and more productive workplace.
Why pre employment medicals matter to employees
Pre employment medicals are generally carried out by occupational health professionals, who have a medical background and specialise in the health of staff in the workplace. Depending on the role you are about to assume, your pre employment health check could be as simple as a medical questionnaire or as in-depth as a doctor’s assessment. Some of the elements which may be covered in your medical include:
- Medical history and current/past medication
- Blood tests
- Chest x-ray
- Urine analysis
- Vision and colour vision testing
- Drug and alcohol testing
Securing a coveted role is certainly something to celebrate, but upon finding out you will need to undergo a pre employment medical, you might find some of those pre interview nerves returning. A workplace medical, however, is nothing to worry about. It exists mainly to ensure that you will be safe and healthy in your new working environment.
During your medical, your mental health will also be assessed to make sure you understand the new job, what it might entail and any impact it might have on your health.
Whilst it is possible to fail a pre employment medical, this is very rare. If the doctor conducting your medical finds anything worrying then they will refer you for further tests and expert opinion. Whilst this is not common, it should be seen as a benefit that you either get a clean bill of health, or a potentially dangerous health condition is uncovered in time for it to be treated.
If you are an employer wishing to introduce pre employment medicals you can find out more about what these health checks involve and book an appointment on the Heathrow Medical website. Heathrow Medical is a provider of specialist medicals and occupational health services, including pre employment medicals and are based adjacent to Heathrow Airport in London.