UNDP

Labour Rights

Medical health information is used to discriminate in hiring process or against employees

 

Discrimination in the hiring process or against employees can occur when employers are in possession of a worker’s medical health information or history. Consent should be obtained before accessing an individual’s health records.

 

The use of this information to unlawfully discriminate against a person is a violation of the right to privacy (if consent is not obtained) and the right to be free from discrimination.

 

Lawful discrimination can be prescribed in national laws, such as where the type of work involved requires that the worker meet certain health criteria for safety reasons.

 

Persons with disabilities or medical conditions have the right to work without discrimination on the basis of their disability or condition. Discrimination in the hiring process or against employees due to medical health information can arise in numerous ways, such as when a person’s HIV status or mental health condition becomes known.

 

Employers should establish policies to ensure they protect the private health information of potential and existing employees and develop recruitment policies that equally promote employment opportunities and career advancement without unlawful discrimination based on medical health records. 

Relevant Human Rights Instruments

ILO Convention concerning Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation, 1958 (No. 111)


SDG 8

DECENT WORK AND ECONOMIC GROWTH

SDG 8.8

Businesses that ensure non-discrimination in hiring can contribute to SDG 8.8: Protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious employment.

SDG 10

REDUCED INEQUALITIES

SDG 10.3

Businesses that ensure non-discrimination in hiring can contribute to SDG 10.3: Ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome, including by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies and practices and promoting appropriate legislation, policies and action in this regard.