What medical information can an employer ask for Australia?

Privacy & anti-discrimination laws

In Australia, employers are generally limited in the type of medical information they can request from employees due to privacy and anti-discrimination laws. The primary legislation that governs this area is the Privacy Act 1988 and the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986. Additionally, there may be relevant state or territory laws that employers need to consider.

Here are some key points regarding medical information and employment in Australia:

Pre-employment medical examinations

Employers can only request medical information that is directly relevant to the requirements of the job. Pre-employment medical examinations must be job-related and justifiable in the context of the specific position.

Employee health information

Employers can collect health information if it is necessary for the management of the employment relationship, such as managing sick leave or accommodating a disability. Any collection of health information must comply with the Privacy Principles outlined in the Privacy Act.

Disability discrimination

Employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees on the basis of disability. This includes making decisions about employment based on an employee's health status.


Employers are required to keep any health information obtained from employees confidential and only disclose it with the employee's consent, except in certain circumstances outlined in the Privacy Act.


Employers generally need the employee's consent to collect and use their health information. Consent should be voluntary, informed, and specific.

Reasonable adjustments

Employers have an obligation to make reasonable adjustments for employees with disabilities to ensure they can perform the essential functions of the job.

It's important for employers to be aware of the legal framework surrounding the collection and use of medical information and to ensure compliance with privacy and anti-discrimination laws. Employees also have the right to seek advice from privacy and human rights agencies if they believe their rights have been violated. Employers may want to consult legal professionals or human resources specialists to ensure they are in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

What medical information can an employer ask for Australia?

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