It is really important to have an understanding of employment law, especially when you are conducting interviews. As a business owner or team leader it can be tricky to stay on top of the latest laws and regulations. Here at Aspire Cambridge, we understand that. This is why we have put together a blog helping you avoid breaking the employment law when conducting interviews.
As stated in the Equality Act 2010, it is illegal to discriminate against employees and job applicants because of a protected characteristic. Protected characteristics are things like age, gender, gender reassignment, nationality or ethnicity, being married, being pregnant, sexual orientation, disability or race, for example.
Questions to Avoid
We would recommend that you avoid questions like which country are you from, do you own your own home, what country are your parents from or who do you live with. You should also avoid asking how old a candidate is, when they graduated, how many sick days they took in their last job or if they need time off for religious holidays.
While these are all things you may want to know, by asking these questions you could be breaking employment laws. The candidate may feel that they are being discriminated based on their answers and this could and you and the company in a lot of hot water.
Questions to Ask
Instead of the above questions we would recommend that you ask if the candidate is eligible to work in the UK and ask for proof to work in the UK. Ask them how long they have been at their current address and if there are shifts or days that they cannot work.
You can ask the candidate if they are able to travel to work and if they have a car, but only if this is a job requirement that they must have a car. If it is a job requirement you can also ask the candidate if they write or speak any other languages. If a job vacancy or role has a legal age limit you are allowed to ask the age of the candidate and you can request proof of their age, but only if it is relevant to the job.
It is essential that you have a policy in place that addresses discrimination. Having an equal opportunities policy easily available will also help prevent discrimination claims from candidates. If you are found to be in breach of regulations surrounding the employment law you may be liable to face an employment tribunal.
If you would like to know more about interviewing candidates and the employment law regulations surrounding recruitment and interviewing, please contact our team directly on 01223 855440.