Discrimination law in recruitment
Under the Equality Act 2010, employers, whether small, medium, or large, private or public, have to take steps to avoid discrimination across their whole recruitment process, including advertising, selection for interview, interview, assessments, and choosing successful candidates. Failure to do so is unlawful. This means that businesses should not treat one candidate less favourably than another candidate due to a personal characteristic such as religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment or age.
Discrimination during the recruitment process and selection due to a personal characteristic can take several forms, including:
- not selecting a candidate for interview
- not hiring someone
- assuming someone is not able to perform a role
- paying someone less than another worker without good reason
- letting personal stereotypes or preconceptions influence who you interview or recruit
Unfortunately, discrimination can occur even when it is not intended, hence it is vital that your business understands how this can happen and be mitigated through effective policies, procedures, and training.
How to avoid discrimination in a job advert
There are many ways to avoid any form of discrimination when advertising a vacancy, including:
- don’t use gender-specific language - e.g. salesman
- don’t add an age range for the role but also avoid using implying terms such as ‘youthful’ or ‘mature’
- don’t add criteria that are not necessary for the job, such as ‘requires driving license’ for an office based role
- use neutral wording where possible
- ask a person skilled in employment law to check your job adverts before publishing
The key to avoiding discrimination in a job advert is to check the wording used carefully before the ad is published. Take the time to see how the advert may be perceived by those with a protected characteristic.
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Starting a hiring process is an exciting moment for any company because it means that your business is growing or that you are looking to find the right person to help your business succeed. As detailed in this article, it is important to ensure your job adverts are not discriminatory and it preventdamage your business' reputation.