21. If I am looking for a job, can the employer require me to take an HIV test?
An employer can lawfully request medical information from a job seeker if he/she wants to use the information to check whether the job seeker:
- has an infectious disease as defined under the DDO (but the law specifically excludes HIV infection as an infectious disease, see question 3 for more details) ;
- would be able to carry out the inherent requirements of the job ( section 42(3) of the DDO); or
- would need special services or facilities in order to perform the inherent requirements of the job (section 42(3) of the DDO).
Since HIV is not listed as an infectious disease, the only reason for making a request for medical information lawfully falls within any of the three grounds mentioned above. If the HIV test is irrelevant to the inherent requirements of the job, the employer has no right to such information and you can refuse to take the test. If your employer insists, you can lodge a complaint with the Equal Opportunities Commission.