The following Employment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
Whether an organisation has a dedicated personnel or HR team, or devolves recruitment responsibilities to line managers and supervisors, it is important that anyone involved in recruitment is aware of the principles of good practice, particularly in relation to discrimination and data protection.
It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a person:
in the arrangements the employer makes for deciding to whom to offer employment, or
as to the terms on which the employer offers a person employment, or
by not offering a person employment
There is no specific prohibition regarding discriminatory job advertisements under the Equality Act 2010 (EqA 2010). However, if an employer publishes an advertisement which might reasonably be understood as indicating an intention to discriminate because of a protected characteristic (see: Protected characteristics—overview), this will nonetheless go to show direct discrimination (see Practice Note: Direct discrimination) in the recruitment exercise of which the advertisement formed a part (see Practice Note: Employment events which give rise to prohibited conduct claims—Recruitment).
The Equality Act Explanatory Notes give as an example of this form of direct discrimination an employer who makes it clear in the advertisement for a vacancy that Roma need not apply. This would amount to direct race discrimination against a Roma who might reasonably have considered applying for the job but was deterred from doing so because of the
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