Q&As

Does an employer have a legal obligation to collect information on the race and ethnicity of new employees?

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Published on LexisPSL on 28/10/2019

The following Employment Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Does an employer have a legal obligation to collect information on the race and ethnicity of new employees?

Does an employer have a legal obligation to collect information on the race and ethnicity of new employees?

There is no legal requirement for an employer to collect information (eg by the use of monitoring forms) to find out personal information about its job applicants and their protected characteristics as part of the recruitment process. However, guidance from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) suggests that it is good practice for an employer to do so in order to:

  1. see who has applied for the job and who has been selected, in terms of their protected characteristics

  2. then compare who has applied for jobs against the profile of jobseekers in the local community, nationally, in its sector and the profile of employees already in the organisation

  3. if this highlights any groups who are not applying or not getting further on in the recruitment process, then look again at its assessment processes: is it excluding good applicants unnecessarily?

See the EHRC Equality Act 2010 guidance What equality law means for you as an employer: when you recruit someone to work for you, pp 45–48.

You may wish to consider whether the public sector equality duty (PSED), as defined and set out in Part 11 of the Equality Act 2010 (EqA 2010), applies. The PSED comprises:

  1. a general equality duty—the over-arching requirement or substance of the duty, supported

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