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Work and Pensions Committee Call for End of Pre-Employment Health Questionnaires

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

NAT successful in giving evidence to Committee

NAT (National AIDS Trust) warmly welcomes the Work and Pensions Committee’s recommendation that as a general rule disability related enquiries should only be permitted after a conditional job offer has been made.
The Committee’s recommendation, part of their report The Equality Bill: how disability equality fits within a single Equality Act published today, could play a crucial role in ending disability discrimination in recruitment and encourage people with disabilities, especially those which are stigmatised, back into employment.
NAT is part of a coalition of charities including Terrence Higgins Trust and the mental health charity Rethink that is calling for an amendment to the Equality Bill to reduce major discrimination faced by job seekers with ‘invisible’ conditions such as mental illness or HIV.  Changing the law would bring the UK in line with America and a significant number of EU member states where pre-employment health-related questions are prohibited.
Yusef Azad, Director of Policy and Campaigns, gave evidence to the Committee highlighting the discrimination many people living with HIV face in the recruitment process and calling for the prohibition of pre employment health questionnaires. Yusef says:
“People living with HIV can still face discrimination when applying for jobs. Employers often do not understand that with the advances in treatment today someone living with HIV can have a fulfilling and busy career. We are now calling on the Government to take forward the Committee’s recommendation and use the Equality Bill to bring the UK into line with international best practice around recruitment and disability.”

Notes to the editor:

The Work and Pension Committee’s report The Equality Bill: how disability fits within a single Equality Act.
For further information please contact:
Katherine Sladden,
Communications Officer,
020 7814 6733,
NAT (National AIDS Trust) is the UK’s leading charity dedicated to transforming society’s response to HIV. We provide fresh thinking, expert advice and practical resources. We campaign for change.
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