A national HIV charity has launched a recruitment pack for employers setting out the rights of people with HIV under the new Equality Act which came into force on 1 October. NAT (National AIDS Trust) has launched the pack in a bid to highlight the rights of potential employees who have HIV. The Equality Act means employers will no longer be able to use healthcare questionnaires and medical examinations prior to the offer of employment.
“These changes mark a big step forward for people living with HIV, as many have been subject to HIV-related prejudice and discrimination during the recruitment process,” said Deborah Jack, Chief Executive of NAT.
“As of 1 October, the Equality Act prohibits the use of pre-employment healthcare questionnaires and medical examinations prior to an offer of employment. This change will remove important barriers to people living with HIV entering the workplace, such as feeling disclosing their status may make them vulnerable to discrimination from a potential employer or concern their HIV status will not be kept confidential. In addition, worrying about the implications of withholding information on their HIV status at an early stage of the recruitment process.”
She added: “NAT is committed to making sure these changes in the law are fully understood and implemented by employers, so people living with HIV no longer fear being asked to disclose their status or are subjected to discrimination in the recruitment process. We have produced a new employment resource, HIV and recruitment, designed to lay out and explain the changes, so HR professionals and those involved in the recruitment process can ensure they understand them and are adhering to them in practice.”
The document is available from http://www.nat.org.uk.
(Source: Midlands Zone, http://www.midlandszone.co.uk/news.asp?thisId=1364 )