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Preventing Discrimination in Recruitment

01 Mar 2019

Watch out!

There are some things you just can’t ask your candidates during a job interview and they are mainly in relation to ‘protected characteristics’.

As a gentle reminder, here are the protected characteristics you shouldn’t ask about:

  • Age
  • being or becoming a transsexual person
  • being married or in a civil partnership
  • being pregnant or having a child
  • disability
  • race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin
  • religion, belief or lack of religion/belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation 

We’ve seen some poor examples of where recruiters have asked about some of these, even though they were trying not to be too direct. But, they still ended up with complaints:  

  • What year are you planning to retire?
  • Five children must be a handful – I hope you’re not planning on having more!!!
  • I see you have a problem with your left eye – how does this impact on your ability to use a computer?

All of these left recruiters with a problem to deal with from those candidates who didn't get the job. Having said that, anyone who did get the job would still have a right to take issue.

So, be careful – and make sure your interviewers are trained!