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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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I wish to add a question to my company's employee application

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I wish to add a question to my company's employee application form to ask if the applicant has ever been convicted of an offence (criminal or civil). Is it legal for me to do this and is there anything to avoid in the wording?
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What type of work is this for?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Salesperson for professional services to financial services sector clients.

You are able to ask potential employees about their criminal past but you must ensure that you adhere to the rules of the Rehabilitation of Offenders’ Act 1974. It states that you can only ask applicants if they have unspent convictions, unless you are one of the exempt professions, in which case you can also ask them if they have unspent convictions. The roles you are recruiting for would not be exempt so you can only ask employees if they have any unspent convictions. Here is a useful template you can use to include in the recruitment packs: I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks Ben, very helpful. Do you happen to have a link to a similar template for what can be legally asked about medical conditions/history?

It is unlawful to ask an applicant about their medical history unless it was done for the purpose of establishing if they need any assistance at their interview or if it is to establish if a condition will affect an effect on their ability to do the job, called an occupational requirement. More details here: Hope this helps?
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks Ben, that is fine.

You are welcome, all the best
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Sorry, one more thing.

It says that we can make a job offer subject to medical checks. Is it therefore OK, once the offer has been made, to ask the person to disclose any conditions that might affect their ability to do the job and treat this question as part of the 'medical check'?

(e.g. I am thinking about, say, being able to fly to international meetings etc. but I also mean more generally.)

Once an offer has been made you can ask for medical history but you still cannot discriminate against them if they have a disability. So for example, someone has history of depression and you think that may affect their ability to do the job - that may indeed be the case but it is going to be discriminatory not to employ them because you think that may be a risk. So you have to be careful about what you ask for and ensure that it is actually something which means it would be impossible for them to do the job if they have the condition