Health check before hiring is not a must

Health check before hiring is not a must

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Employers are not allowed to require a health check from their future employees

When the job interview is over and the new job is within reach, the next hurdle is often already lurking: some employers require a health check. The news agency "dpa" spoke to experts about the legal side of such investigations. Because the future boss may not officially request this.

Health check puts pressure on many applicants Long-term back problems, migraines or mental problems are now common diseases. It is obvious that it is better not to tell the future employer about this. The worries become all the greater if the new boss requests a health check before being hired. “Are employers allowed to do this?” Or “Am I obliged to take part in such an examination?” Are just a few of the questions that those affected face in such a situation.

Prof. Björn Gaul, specialist lawyer for labor law in Cologne, emphasizes to the news agency that such a (company) medical examination is always voluntary. It is up to the applicant to decide whether to have the health check carried out or not. But: "There is often a kind of factual constraint", adds Prof. Jobst-Hubertus Bauer, specialist lawyer for labor law from Stuttgart, in an interview with the agency. Unfortunately, some employers make the decision whether an applicant gets the job dependent on such an investigation. This puts the applicant under great pressure, so that he ultimately agrees, even if he actually does not want to take part in the health check.

Health certificate can be issued by the family doctor According to Bauer, lawyer, in some professions the employer is even legally obliged to insist on a medical examination. This is the case, for example, with pilots or with young professionals under the age of 18. Sven Thora from the Bremen Chamber of Labor adds in an interview with the news agency that this should ensure that they do not perform any activity for which they are not suitable for health reasons.

Some workers insist on a health certificate that can be issued by the family doctor. This confirms the applicant's suitability for a particular position. However, the health certificate does not contain any examination results or details on the state of health.

Examination results may not be passed on to the employer as part of the health check. In some cases, employers also require certain medical tests, but these may only include examinations that are required by law and allow statements to be made about the ability to work. In general, the employee must also agree to this test, says Gaul. In addition, there is also free choice of doctor in professional life, says Thora. An employer should not insist on a specific company doctor.

If the employee agrees to medical examinations for his employer, this does not mean that the future boss will be informed of all results. The doctor is obliged to maintain confidentiality - this also applies to the company doctor - and may only pass on the information that the employee has agreed to. In the end, an assessment is normally only made as to whether an applicant is suitable from a health point of view or not. Examination findings are generally not passed on, unless the applicant releases the doctor completely from his confidentiality. Thora advises against this. (ag)

Image: Tim Reckmann /

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