Job seekers forced to take blood tests

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Job seekers forced to take blood tests

Employers are conducting blood tests for potentially life-threatening conditions in prospective employees, with no requirement to inform the potential workers of the outcome, a union says.

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The Electrical Trades Union says employers are conducting blood tests for potentially life-threatening conditions in prospective employees, with no requirement to inform the potential workers of the outcome.

It claims a recruitment subcontractor, SNC Lavalin, made potential employees submit to blood tests in order to retain their work on Shell’s Queensland Gas Corporation project at Chinchilla.

The contractor required the prospective workers to sign a waiver allowing the contractor to send workers’ data, medical records and blood samples overseas, to countries that do not comply with Australian privacy laws.

The union claims that a worker could test positive to a life-threatening condition and miss out on employment without even being informed of their medical status.

ETU national assistant secretary, Michael Wright, called on Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter to protect the privacy and dignity of workers by closing the loophole.

“Being forced to submit to blood tests in order to get a job is virtually unheard of. But being forced to then relinquish control of the test, with no right to even know the result is horrifying,” Mr Wright said.

“The employer does not need this information. The fact they are trying to garner it and then avoid privacy laws is extremely worrying. We believe this information may be used to compile a genetic ‘black list’ which is then on-sold to other Australian companies.

The ABC reported that SNC Lavalin had issued a statement saying: "in light of these concerns, we are revising the form to provide further information regarding how the SNC-Lavalin Group manages data privacy".
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