Recruitment is the lifeblood of any business, but it can be an expensive process – particularly if you fall foul of UK recruitment law.
For example, if someone applying for a job with you thinks you've behaved unfairly, then they could build a case against you.
We know it can be hard to keep up with legislation when you're running a business - talking through the appropriate recruitment law steps with our expert solicitors could take a weight off your mind, as well as saving you time and money.
Contact us First4Lawyers and see who we can help with your recruitment legal support needs.
What is recruitment support?
The support offered by specialist recruitment and employment lawyers can be vital to achieving business success when hiring staff.
Recruitment law exists to protect people against unfair or discriminatory practice by employers, and the recruitment support that First4Lawyers provides to businesses helps to ensure recruitment practices comply with the law.
The government passed a piece of legislation called the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations to provide people with protection when using employment agencies, but it also affects any business involved in recruiting and employing people.
Staying on top of changes to employment legislation can be difficult and time-consuming, but it's essential that your business is kept abreast of any changes, helping you to better protect yourself against potential claims made against you.
I am recruiting for a position – what should I do?
Perhaps the most important legal factor for employers to consider when recruiting for a position is discrimination.
If you discriminate against someone during the recruitment process, you could put yourself at risk of having claims made against you. Your actions could be direct or indirect, and it doesn’t matter whether you discriminated deliberately or not – you could still be liable.
The way you advertise the position you are recruiting for will come under close scrutiny if you are accused of discrimination, so it is important that you consider the legal implications of your job listing very carefully.
It must not discriminate against anyone on the grounds of their age, disability, gender, marriage status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or sexual orientation. When creating your job advert, you must be careful not to imply that the position is only open to certain people – unless that is the case due to the requirements of the position.
For example, if your job advert states that you are seeking a recent graduate, when a person who graduated a long time ago could carry out the position in question just as well, you could be found to have discriminated against certain potential applicants because of their age.
What else is classed as discrimination in recruitment?
When you are recruiting for a position, there are certain personal characteristics that are protected, meaning you cannot ask a prospective employee about them.
The Equality Act 2010 prohibits you from asking people about their age, their sexual orientation, their status as a transsexual person, their marital status or civil partnership status, their gender, their religion or lack thereof, their race or ethnic background, or their disability.
By asking about these characteristics, or a person’s health, or whether they have, or plan to have, children, in a job interview you could be seen to be discriminating against people on the basis of their answers.
The law does not require people to tell you about criminal convictions in the job application process if those convictions are spent, and you cannot use a person’s membership of a trade union as a factor during recruitment.
The law does allow you to select people with protected characteristics for a role over someone without them if your workforce, profession, or industry is under-represented by people with that characteristic. You can also show favour towards disabled people in the recruitment process.
I have been accused of breaching recruitment law – what should I do?
Defending yourself against a claim of discrimination or unfair practice in recruitment can be difficult and stressful, but there are things you can do.
It is essential you seek advice from professional employment law solicitors, who can provide you with detailed legal information, and help you to construct a solid defence to the allegations being made against you.
First4Lawyers provides recruitment support to businesses of all sizes, and the experts we work with have a great deal of experience in handling employment issues. Contact us to discuss your situation and find out what to do next.