The decision on whether to adopt pre-employment medicals should start with a discussion on “why do we want to do pre-employment medicals”? and “to which roles should they apply”?
Whilst this discussion might sound more philosophical than commercial, answering these questions will go a long way towards developing the rationale for a business case for adoption. For the purposes of this article, I intend to concentrate on the inherent physical component of pre-employment medicals because this is really where the employee health discussion typically commences.
A decade ago, there was the common notion within an organisation that if we don’t know about the health of a worker, we cannot be held accountable for it. I think it is safe to say that this has now proven not to be the case and that employers are expected to, at a minimum, have involvement in the protection of the health of a worker and ideally to be promoting better health. As a consequence, with greater involvement comes greater responsibility and accountability.
Health and wellbeing is rapidly developing away from what was considered a ’nice to have’ for a few more benevolent employers, into a much more far reaching discussion around productivity and profitability for most organisations. Keeping workers fit for longer should now be seen in the context of an ageing workforce, the cost of worker retention and training and the loss of corporate knowledge. For any organisation that is interested in improving the health and wellbeing of its workforce, understanding and managing the health risks that come in to the business through the recruitment process is a key step and pre-employment medicals offer a way to achieve this.