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Medicals - question

  • 22-02-2022 8:53pm
    #1
    Posts: 533 ✭✭✭ [Deleted User]


    I’m just wondering about this. I was turned down for a job because of failing the medical due to having a back problem (temporary, hopefully) which I declared & was visibly not able to touch toes due to back pain. It was an office based thing without any physical aspects.

    How exactly am I going to ever be anything other than self employed if this keeps happening?

    They were prepared to offer me contract work only, which really isn’t worth my while - I might as well just be self employed. It was actually a drop in income. They wouldn’t offer me the job though, and said straight it was because of the medical.

    It’s getting really frustrating as I just can’t seem to get jobs which have literally no physical aspect whatsoever.



Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭ miezekatze


    I've been working various office jobs for about 20 years and have never had to do a medical. This is probably a company policy thing so I don't think you should let this discourage you.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭ miezekatze





  • Registered Users Posts: 4,531 ✭✭✭ Princess Calla


    I suspect they don't want to open themselves up to a new employee going on sick leave...after probation period.

    Sitting stationary in an office job can be tough on your back.

    There are plenty of office roles out there that don't require a medical before starting.

    Take the position as contractor and keep looking.



  • Posts: 533 ✭✭✭ [Deleted User]


    Absolutely no point in me taking the position. It would drop my income 15-20%. They seemed to be trying to negotiate me into a lower income for same job with zero commitment and it would be less than I’m earning now, so completely pointless.

    If this is the norm in corporate stuff, I’ll be staying put. I’m just wondering if it was pie in the sky stuff to try and get me to work for them at a discount.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,835 ✭✭✭ ari101


    If you need to touch your toes to get an office role I'll never have a job again. I am not now and have not been able to touch my toes since I was a teenager. Even at times in my life when I was fitter my flexibility is a challenge. What a load of b*ll*x. I'm sorry OP, that seems very unfair.

    I realise this is hopefully temporary, and you are not looking for a fight, but I'm curious what WRC or similar would think. It is not discrimination if an employer does not provide equal opportunity to prospective employees with disabilities and to do so looks at appropriate reasonable accommodation (I'm thinking an adjustable desk to be able to alternative between sitting and standing, for example, as a reasonable accommodation).



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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,510 ✭✭✭✭ Dav010


    If the WRC found pre employment medicals discriminatory, the State would likely be the employer most at risk of sanction. A quick google indicates the practice may not be discriminatory, but the employer does need to be careful.

    https://www.medmark.ie/teachersna/occ-health-services_2.html

    https://healthservice.hse.ie/staff/benefits-services/occupational-health/health-assessment.html

    https://cmo.gov.ie/pre-employment-medical-assessments/

    Post edited by Dav010 on


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 8,858 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Jim2007


    There are very few office jobs that don't at some time involve picking up a heavy object like a bale of paper for the printer, putting something up on a hight shelf etc.... and it was not just because you were not able to touch your toes - you failed a medical exam. It is understandable that no company will want to extend the extra benefits of employee status if it means taking on a higher risk than normal and even if they did the chances of getting it agreed with their insurers and underwriters - especially sick pay, pension, disability benefits etc... That is why it is generally a good idea to be settled in with an employer before 45 - after which the bad stuff starts to come along.

    Aside from the job, I'd be concerning myself about what can be done medically to improve your situation. Being self employed is all well and good, but you still need to consider what to do to get cover for loss of income, disability etc....



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,835 ✭✭✭ ari101


    Medicals are fine, and I understand not offering a job to someone with a disability which interferes with their primary tasks, as well as employers risk averse position, but given the legal requirement to not discriminate and to make reasonable accommodations it does seem very thin.



  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 63,157 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    I haven't been asked to do a pre-employment medical in over a decade and that includes jobs with significant death in service benefits. I thought it was very much gone these days, obviously some hold-outs.



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,531 ✭✭✭ Princess Calla


    Well if you don't need the job don't take it. A company isn't obligated to hire you. Or hire you under the conditions you set out.

    If you do need the job, climb off your high horse and take the role until you find something else that will pay you the rate of pay you think you deserve.



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  • Posts: 533 ✭✭✭ [Deleted User]


    “On my high horse?!” There’s no need to be insulting! Thanks for such helpful advice … 🤷‍♂️

    I don’t particularly need the job. I just applied as a recruiter (in the company) contacted me asked me to apply. I went through a long winded process to then be offered something on significantly worse terms and rate than I had been approached with. So from my point of view they’ve wasted my time and energy.

    Following a process that took weeks, they sent me a request to do a medical and then I got a call offering me a job with zero commitment at a significantly reduced rate.

    In terms of self employment and loss of income protection, I have reasonable contingencies in place and have a private pension.

    My reason for posting was to understand whether or not this is common practice. I’m aware of the pre work medicals in the public sector, which this was not.



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,531 ✭✭✭ Princess Calla


    I wasn't being insulting.

    I offered you advice "take the job, while you look for something else" you replied absolutely no as the drop in salary would be too much.

    But at the same time in your OP you're bemoaning the fact that you can't find a job.

    If you already have a job that pays 10-15% more why are you so invested in not getting this particular role?

    Stay in the job you are in and keep looking. My company doesn't look for medicals. None of my peers when moving company did a medical.

    The only jobs that I'm aware of requiring medicals are defence forces, firefighters, gardai and health professionals. I'm sure there's others but office workers not so much.



  • Posts: 533 ✭✭✭ [Deleted User]


    Well you may have not intended it that way, but that’s how it reads.

    The fact that it isn’t common just leads me to the conclusion that it’s an excuse to offer it at lower rates. I won’t be taking it up.



  • Registered Users Posts: 24,682 ✭✭✭✭ Mrs OBumble


    It's not common.



  • Registered Users Posts: 22,483 ✭✭✭✭ Strumms


    So you were unfit to qualify to do the job as an employee but fit enough to qualify for it as a contractor… ? All on health grounds, the same job ? haha

    at that point of the conversation I’d have stood up, put on my jacket, said fück all and just left..no real sense in wasting time on them.



  • Registered Users Posts: 12,510 ✭✭✭✭ Dav010


    That is predicated on you understanding the difference between an employee and contractor and why the employer may be prepared to take the op on as a contractor, but not an employee. By the point you would have stood up, the employer has affectively already told you to PFO.



  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 8,858 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Jim2007


    The purpose of the recruiting process is to discriminate - to weight up the different recruits and to decide between. In 30 year I can't say I ever came a cross a company who recruited someone they did not want.



  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 8,858 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Jim2007


    But it is not on the same grounds, it is at low risk exposure to the company. If a contractor be come incapacitated, too bad so sad.... if an employee becomes incapacitated it ands to the company's payroll costs indefinitely.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,835 ✭✭✭ ari101


    Yes employers are usually smart about avoiding candidates they don't want, but when it comes to disability it us one of 9 grounds on which it is illegal to discriminate.

    Now I probably wouldn't want to work for someone nitpicking and using a disability to negotiate salary and benefits down out if the gate anyway, I can imagine the level of support and understanding you might get in that situation if you later needed it as an employee.

    However, the legislation puts the onus on employers to do more. If they believe a person is capable of doing the role, which getting to a medical and then offering a contract despite it, sounds like they do, refusing employment on grounds of a disability would seem to rise to the level of illegal discrimination to me.



  • Registered Users Posts: 12,510 ✭✭✭✭ Dav010


    Employers do not have to employ someone who is unable to do the job, personally I wouldn’t want to be on a plane flown by someone physically unable to do it, but that’s just me.



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  • Posts: 533 ✭✭✭ [Deleted User]


    Don't worry, I won’t be crashing any planes due to my back. I’ve rejected the offer. You can all sleep easy.

    Thanks to some of you for useful information.

    I’ll just stick to being self employed. I’m not putting myself through that nonsense again.



  • Registered Users Posts: 22,483 ✭✭✭✭ Strumms


    an employer has a duty of care to both employees and contractors once they step on their property and begin work…if the same reasonable effort cannot be made to ensure that employee/contractor is medically fit, it could impact the safety, wellbeing of existing staff / contractors.



  • Registered Users Posts: 12,510 ✭✭✭✭ Dav010


    Same H&S requirements, but after that it depends on whether you understand the difference between the two types of employment contracts, and the benefits to an employer of the person being a contractor if they subsequently find the person is unable to physically do the job, or absent due to illness.



  • Registered Users Posts: 22,483 ✭✭✭✭ Strumms


    Jesus, It depends on whether you understand that a medical and it’s purpose is not just primarily to protect the employer but to ensure the wellbeing of the existing employees, contractors , customers, guests and the potential new hire also….most businesses have a wellness and fitness for duty policy where this is laid out in black and white.

    Example…an individual as a contractor has a forklift license from a previous job, if I’m a manager I’ll not be letting him loose on a forks in his new gig without checking first if he is medically fit and licensed to drive said forklift…he has a heart attack driving it, I could be calling a family telling them to get to hospital as their loved one was hit by a forklift driven by a person who in hindsight was medically unfit to drive it…



  • Registered Users Posts: 12,510 ✭✭✭✭ Dav010


    Not the scenario which bears any relation to the op’s situation.



  • Posts: 533 ✭✭✭ [Deleted User]


    It’s quite the job - a lot of multitasking, which may include: flying aircraft, driving forklifts, bit of skydiving, maybe carrying out brain surgery and probably operating nuclear power plants and that’s only on the days they’re not climbing Everest.

    It is a creative job that would be 99.99999% desk based. The most I would be lifting is a pencil, could be the odd day where I might have to, I don’t know.., plug in my laptop maybe open a door, and there’s copious very accessible car parking and it’s likely about 80% of it or more would have been WFH anyway.

    I think they were looking for an excuse to get me at a discount.



  • Registered Users Posts: 12,510 ✭✭✭✭ Dav010


    Bluntly, they want to pay you less and get rid of you easily if you are absent due to back problems, hence why the offer was for contractor only.



  • Posts: 533 ✭✭✭ [Deleted User]


    It’s a free market and I don’t need the job, so that’s where it ends.

    It’s just a pity they spent three weeks not being upfront. I wouldn’t have wasted my time and energy.



  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 8,858 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Jim2007


    It does not necessarily follow that they were not being up front with you. The recruiting manager and their colleagues may have had every intent on going forward with you but it may have been blocked at another level where risk management approach is applied. It is not common that people fall down in that way so the people you were dealing with did not have the experience.

    I have never had someone rejected on health grounds, but had three rejected on the basis of undisclosed criminal activity. So for me a back ground check would be on my horizon but no concern about a person having health issues.



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  • Posts: 533 ✭✭✭ [Deleted User]


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