Job applicants' health: can employers ask about it?

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has issued guidance for employers and job applicants on pre employment health questions.

Section 60 of the Equality Act 2010 (the Act) makes it unlawful to ask questions about the health of a job applicant before an offer of employment is made. The aim of Section 60 is to prevent health information being used to sift out disabled job applicants without them having had the opportunity to show they have the skills to do the job.

This is not a blanket ban, there are some exemptions, but the extent of employers’ leeway has been uncertain. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has now issued two lots of guidance; one for employers and one for job applicants, which sets out some practical examples and aims to assist in the understanding of the legislation.

Section 60 of the Act applies to any recruitment process in England, Wales or Scotland involving external or internal applicants and also to selecting a pool of candidates who may be offered work in the future. Employers, their agents and employment agencies are covered. Enquiries about a job applicant’s health are prohibited up until the point where the job offer is made. At that point, an employer can make the offer conditional upon medical checks and health related questions may be asked…

If you are registered and logged in to the site, click on the link below to read the rest of the Shoosmiths briefing. If not, please register or sign in with your details below.

Sign in or Register to continue reading this article

Sign in


It's quick, easy and free!

It takes just 5 minutes to register. Answer a few simple questions and once completed you’ll have instant access.

Register now

Why register to The Lawyer


Industry insight

In-depth, expert analysis into the stories behind the headlines from our leading team of journalists.


Market intelligence

Identify the major players and business opportunities within a particular region through our series of free, special reports.


Email newsletters

Receive your pick of The Lawyer's daily and weekly email newsletters, tailored by practice area, region and job function.

More relevant to you

To continue providing the best analysis, insight and news across the legal market we are collecting some information about who you are, what you do and where you work to improve The Lawyer and make it more relevant to you.

Briefings from Shoosmiths

View more briefings from Shoosmiths

Analysis from The Lawyer

  • Hester: declined bonus worth almost £1m

    Pay checks

    Compliance and corporate governance codes for large financial institutions will undoubtedly include provisions to regulate high pay in the future

  • high street 150

    Focus: Alternative business structures - Law and new order

    There’s more to the ABS model than attracting the man in the street and procuring external investment. Partners at the big corporate firms, take note…


2 Colmore Square
38 Colmore Circus Queensway
B4 6BJ

Turnover (£m): 92.98
No. of lawyers: 393


  • Training Contract

    Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham, Northampton, Milton Keynes, London, Reading, Basingstoke, Solent | £ 24,000