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Basic Guide to Medical and Psychometric Testing

Basic Guide to Medical and Psychometric Testing

Employers may not force their workers or job applicants to undergo medical or psychometric tests.


The Employment Equity Act applies to all employers, workers and job applicants, but not members of the –

  • National Defence Force;
  • National Intelligence Agency; and
  • South African Secret Service.

The provisions for affirmative action apply to –

  • employers with 50 or more workers, or whose annual income is more than the amount specified in Schedule 4 of the Act;
  • municipalities;
  • organs of State;
  • employers ordered to comply by a bargaining council agreement;
  • any employers who volunteer to comply.

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Applies to all employers and workers and protects workers and job seekers from unfair discrimination, and also provides a framework for implementing affirmative action.

Medical Tests

Employers may not force workers or job applicants to undergo a medical test unless –

  • the law permits or orders it; or
  • it is acceptable because of –
    • medical facts;
    • employment conditions;
    • social policy;
    • the fair distribution of benefits; or
    • job requirements.

Testing workers for HIV/AIDS is illegal unless the Labour Court orders it.

Based on Legislation in Section 7of the Employment Equity Act

Psychometric Tests

Psychometric testing of workers or job applicants is illegal unless the tests –

  • have been proved valid and reliable;
  • are fair to all workers; and
  • do not discriminate against a worker or group.

Based on Legislation in Section 8of the Employment Equity Act

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Originally appeared on on 14-11-2007. The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of estome. estome accepts no responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or fairness of the article, nor does the information contained herein constitute advice, legal or otherwise.

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