Mandatory Pre-Employment Medical Examination—The Practice and the Law: Is It Justifiable?

Authors: Adomako-Kwakye Chris, Alexander Oti Acheampong, Akwasi Antwi-Kusi, Emmanuel Ameyaw

“An employee shall not in respect of any person seeking employment, or of persons already in his employment; discriminate against the person on grounds of gender, race, colour, ethnic origin, creed, social or economic status, disability or politics” (Section 14(e) of the Labour Act 651). The aim of this study is to evaluate the process of pre-employment medical report examinations, the law and the practice—in some public institutions in Kumasi. This study was conducted in two major public institutions in the Kumasi metropolis. The identities of respondents will remain confidential so as to maintain anonymity. Three groups of respondents were used in the study (Group 1: Employees who were employed within the past 5 years. Group 2: Eight medical doctors who have been mandated to conduct and write medical reports of prospective employees. Group 3: Ten senior human resource staff members of the two aforementioned public institutions). Each group was asked specific questions related to the process of medical examinations and the laws of employment. Responses were analyzed and reported descriptively using SPSSII. All respondents from Group 1 were asked to submit to a medical examination commencing work. Sixty-five (65%) percent of respondents in Group 2 indicated that they were unaware of the job description of a prospective employee at the time of examination. All members in Group 3 indicated that the medical examination results of applicants are kept on their personal files, which are accessible to other human resource personnel. Based on the above section of the Labour Act of 2003, it is our assertion that there is no legal basis for the mandatory request of medical examination reports of prospective employees. Again, the medical reports do not always take into consideration the job description of the prospective employee. Therefore, reliance on a medical report to determine the fitness of a prospective employee for a particular job is not based on fair evaluation and thus not justifiable for the institutions studied.


Journal: Beijing Law Review
DOI: 10.4236/blr.2017.81001 (PDF)
Paper Id: 74289 (metadata)

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