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Recruitment

It is important to manage the recruitment process properly in order to avoid disputes or even litigation in the Employment Tribunal.

Recruitment starts with identifying the need for additional personnel, preparing the job description and advertising, before interviewing applicants and shortlisting those who have been successful.  The most common problem experienced by employers is that they contravene the provisions of the Equality Act 2010 by applying discriminatory criteria to the exercise.  Even if discrimination has not taken place, it makes sense to utilise a fair and transparent process to reduce the risks of disputes.  Key points to remember include:

  • Staff training can be key.  It is important that recruiting managers are aware that job advertisements cannot require applicants to be of a particular age, sex, race, religious belief, disability, marital status or sexual orientation (with certain exceptions).  A requirement for a "Reception Girl" or interview questions such as "Are you going to retire soon?" or "Do you expect to have any more children?" are very ill-advised.
  • It is useful to keep a paper trail of the decision-making process so that businesses can produce evidence that the decision was made using fair and lawful criteria.
  • Employers often use the same pre-determined questions for each interviewee.
  • Can any potential discrimination be justified?  Some jobs require employees of a particular ethnicity or gender and the law allows for this to happen.
  • Are any reasonable adjustments required for interviewees who might be disabled?
  • Personal information which discloses the applicants age, gender, race or sexual orientation might cause issues.  
  • When making an offer of employment a clear offer letter should be drafted which sets out the basis of the offer and, in particular, any conditions such as favourable references, confirmation of qualifications and confirmation of the employee's right to work in the UK.
  • Any induction process should include the proper health and safety training, it should set out any probationary provisions and include both job specific and equal opportunities training.

It can be crucial to prepare well-drafted job descriptions and non-discriminatory recruitment policies as well as ensuring that the recruitment process is managed by well-trained staff.  If you would like more information about the potential pitfalls to look out for when recruiting then please contact our team.


If you would like to get in touch with our employment team, please contact us on 020 7234 0200 or employment@waterfrontsolicitors.com

Anthony Purvis

Partner, Employment Law

Anthony offers succinct and practical advice to both businesses and individuals on various issues including redundancies, unfair and wrongful dismissals claims, unlawful discrimination, grievance and disciplinary procedures, TUPE, staff handbooks, contracts of employment, restrictive covenants and their enforcement, settlement agreements and the employment aspects of corporate reorganisations or sales. Read more...

Matthew Hodson 

Associate, Employment Law

Matthew handles all types of employment matters. He represents and advises employees and employers on issues involving whistleblowing, discrimination, redundancies, unfair and wrongful dismissal, TUPE, Working Time Regulations, restrictive covenants and settlement agreements.  Read more...