Information on Workers Health

Key Points

  • This card represents the law pre-GDPR implementation and is being updated but for up-to-date information please see our summary GDPR card here
  • Any employer gathering information about the health of its workers or prospective workers should be aware of its rights and obligations under legislation such as the Human Rights Act 1998, the European Convention on Human Rights, the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Equality Act 2010
  • The EqA 2010, section 60, prohibits employers asking questions about candidates’ health prior to offering them a job
  • There is no blanket prohibition on asking health questions after offering a job, or making an offer of employment conditional upon satisfactory health checks, but employers need to consider reasonable adjustments for disabled people and avoid disability discrimination
  • Where an employer seeks a medical report from a doctor who is or has been responsible for the clinical care of a worker (such as the worker’s GP), the Access to Medical Reports Act 1988 will apply and give the worker certain rights over the report
  • Health information is sensitive personal data under the DPA and there are more stringent restrictions on how and when it can be processed
  • The Information Commissioner’s Employment Practices Code, gives useful guidance on complying with the Data Protection Act 1998 when processing health information about workers. Part 4 covers health information generally and Part 2 covers health records



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