Employer seeks employees’ private medical information
Members have been advised not to provide private medical information after their employer attempted to collect this information unnecessarily.
The employer, a Registered Training Organisation (RTO), provided a form to employees and indicated it was to be completed and returned to the workplace’s human resources department.
The form sought to collect a range of information about employees including health fund membership, Medicare account information, contact details of regular general and dental practitioners, immunisation records and details about particular medical conditions or ailments.
IEUA-QNT Assistant Branch Secretary Rebecca Sisson said other than disclosing emergency contact information, employees should generally not be asked to disclose such detailed medical information.
“Our union strongly recommends that members decline to complete forms that seek such details about their private medical information,” Ms Sisson said.
Ms Sisson said the Anti-Discrimination Act provided protections around the collection of ‘unnecessary information’.
“Employees are not required to disclose information that is not relevant to their employment, despite the attempts of some employers to collect information through seemingly mandatory forms,” Ms Sisson said.
Ms Sisson said at the commencement of employment, employees may have an obligation to disclose medical conditions that could impact performance of their work duties where requested, but that there are also anti-discrimination protections in place.
“Under both federal and state anti-discrimination legislation, it remains unlawful to discriminate against someone on the basis of medical impairment where reasonable adjustments have been refused which would permit a person to carry out the ‘inherent requirements’ of the role,” Ms Sisson said.
“In this instance, an employer’s request to disclose must also have detailed information about the ‘nature of the duties’, which must be enough information to enable a person to make an informed judgement as to whether any pre-existing medical conditions would impact on their ability to undertake the role.”
Ms Sisson said our union is available to provide support to members who are asked to disclose medical information.
If you have concerns about information your employer is asking you to disclose, please contact our union for support.