During a medical examination for a new job, a person with diabetes may wonder whether they should inform the examining physician about their condition.

First and foremost, a medical condition is considered personal information under the Act Respecting the Protection of Personal Information in the Private Sector. This law states that an individual who collects personal information to create a file should only collect the information necessary for the purpose of the file. Furthermore, the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms prohibits requests for information related to a disability (such as diabetes) during the pre-employment stage unless the disability is relevant to the job being applied for.

Therefore, according to the law, a person with diabetes does not have to disclose their health condition if their diabetes is not relevant to the desired job. The question of relevance to the job depends on the position the person is applying for. For example, if the desired position involves working on a rotating schedule (which can be challenging for a person with diabetes), the candidate should disclose their condition as they may seek accommodations for their work schedule. Conversely, if it is an office position with a regular daytime schedule, there would be no need to inform the physician.

That being said, in some cases, individuals prefer to notify the employer so that they can appropriately respond to any health issues in the workplace (e.g., hypoglycemia). Finally, if a person with diabetes obtains the desired job, they will generally need to inform the group insurer, if applicable.


Research and writing: Diabetes Québec team of health care professionals

Adapted from: Renault Ogilvy and St-Jean Julie (Autumn 2007). Courrier des lecteurs: nouvel emploi. Plein Soleil, Diabète Québec, p.6.

August 2018

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