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Assessing Fitness for Duty During the Recruitment Process

As an employer, what is acceptable when it comes to assessing a candidate’s physical fitness for a job?

When assessing a candidate’s suitability to perform a role for which they are being considered, it is recommended that you provide them with:

- a copy of the position description,

- a breakdown of the inherent physical requirements of the role

as part of the recruitment process.

In some instances, there may be a requirement to ask a candidate to provide further for information about a disability or medical condition in order for you to:

-  determine whether they will be able to perform the inherent requirements of the role safely,

- to assess any health and safety risks for others within the workplace.

- to identify any adjustments, you could make in the workplace for the candidate.

In such circumstances, rather than asking the candidate directly whether carrying out the duties of the position would adversely affect their medical condition or health, it is recommended that you instead focus on whether the condition may impact on the candidate's ability to meet the inherent job requirements, what strategies they have in place to manage this and what adjustments, if any, they may need to support them in performing their role.

This would help to minimise any risk of a complaint that you are asking questions that could be used for a discriminatory purpose, which is unlawful.

For further assistance with this, please contact HR Advice Online at or 1300 720 004.

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