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April/May 2013 (vol. 09/6)

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Climbing Ladders, Meeting Deadlines

Summary:

The EHRC has issued guidance on pre-employment health screening that should end debate on whether it is permissible to ask about mental health if coping with pressure at work is an ‘intrinsic function’ of the job.

This column recently offered  our interpretation of what constitutes a ‘function that is intrinsic to the work concerned’ under  section 60(6)(b) of the Equality Act 2010 (EqA). The issue is important in occupational health because establishing whether a job applicant can carry out an intrinsic function is one of the few exceptions to the general rule that prohibits employers from asking pre-employment health or disability- related questions before  at least a conditional job offer has been  made. Some practitioners have suggested – wrongly in my view – that it would be permissible to ask about a job applicant’s mental health if coping with pressure at work was an intrinsic function of the job.

John Ballard is editor of Occupational Health [at Work].

Author: Ballard J

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Occupational Health at Work April/May 2013 (vol. 09/6) pp3

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