A ban on pre-employment health questionnaires could land employers in tribunal if they are unable to make reasonable adjustments for candidates with health issues and are forced to withdraw the job offer.
But despite the increased risk of litigation, a number of HR chiefs are backing the proposed changes, claiming the current system enables employers to discriminate against those with medical conditions during the recruitment process without fear of any consequences.
This week, the House of Lords introduced a ground-breaking clause into the Equality Bill that would, for the first time, prevent employers asking candidates questions about their health that are unrelated to the job role.
It will mean those with mental-health issues, a medical condition or a disability will not be forced to disclose their condition prior to the offer of employment, unless it hinders their ability to do the job. Campaign groups have argued employers regularly discriminate against people with medical conditions, putting people off applying for a job.
Donna Miller, HR director at Enterprise Rent-a-Car, told Personnel Today: "I accept that employers discriminate against those with health issues. And that's just HR - once a line manager gets hold of something detrimental on a health form, there's little chance for an applicant with a health issue to get through the hiring process."