How to avoid a tribunal claim being pursued by someone who is not even employed by your business

An increasing number of claims are being pursued against businesses even before they have hired or made an offer to new member of staff.
Whilst most employers are mindful of the legal obligation not to discriminate against its workers, not all are alert to the fact that job applicants are afforded protection against discrimination.

Her are our ‘top tips’ to consider during the recruitment process:-

  • Carefully prepare a job description and person specification as these will be the documents you rely upon to justify whether to appoint an individual.
  • Advertising externally as well as internally will help to ensure that the potential pool of applicants is diverse; be mindful that agency workers have the right to be notified of any available vacancies.
  • Ensure that any literature and the method(s) of communication are not discriminatory.
  • Be mindful that applicants may have a disability, so consider what adjustments to make to ensure that they are not at a disadvantage at any stage in the process.
  • Avoid seeking information about the candidate that is unnecessarily/irrelevant either at the application stage or during the selection process.
  • Similarly avoid asking any intrusive questions about the candidate’s personal circumstances.
  • Make notes at each stage most significantly during interviews. However remember that these may be disclosable to the candidate particularly if he/she makes a data subject access request under the Data Protection Act 1998.
  • When making an offer consider making the offer conditional. For example, conditional upon satisfactory references being received.
  • Check the applicant’s right/permission to work in the UK (it is a criminal offence to knowingly employ someone who does not have permission to work in the UK).
  • When relevant and necessary, ask to be provided with their existing contact of employment to review any contractual restrictions and understand what ongoing obligations the individual might owe to their existing/former employer.
  • Ensure that any offer letter or contract that is issued to the successful candidate contains all of the written particulars of employment required under Section 1 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (such as place of work, remuneration details etc).
  • Consider the use of a probationary period.

On 24th February 2016 Thursfields is running a FREE seminar on “how to ensure that your recruitment process is lawful” at its K2 Office in Worcester and repeating the seminar in our Halesowen office on 25th February 2016. For more information please click here

For employment queries or to sign up to our FREE HR Exchange please contact Lisa Kemp on 0121 227 3888 or LKemp@thursfields.co.uk

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