Avoid Discrimination When Recruiting

Key Tips For Employers

Employers should be careful not to be discriminatory in their recruitment processes. Below are some top tips for employers to ensure they do not fall foul of anti-discrimination legislation when seeking to take on new employees.

1.     Avoid age-related wording in advertisements

Terms such as “young and energetic”, “mature” or “recent graduate” are likely to be considered to be age discriminatory and are difficult to defend as being genuine requirements of the job.

2.     Avoid health-related criteria

Including criteria such as a previous excellent sickness absence record or the requirement for a medical assessment to be passed are potentially discriminatory towards disabled persons. Particular care should be taken if a job offer is made and then a medical examination is undertaken – it must be a genuine requirement of the job that a person is of a certain level of physical fitness and reasonable adjustments should be considered wherever possible.

3.     Exercise care when requesting certain levels of experience

Whilst in many roles it is important that candidates have a certain level of experience, especially when being considered by the employer for a senior or leadership role, care should be taken in making this express criteria for making an application. The Employment Tribunal has previously ruled that requiring a candidate for a teaching post to have 5 years’ experience constituted age discrimination.

4.     Take care not to restrict immigrants from applying for work

Introducing criteria which limits potential applicants to those who have permission to work in  the UK may potentially be racial discrimination. It is, however, acceptable to make a job offer conditional upon the individual obtaining the correct work permit, in order to allow the employer to comply with the regulatory environment.


If you would like advice on employment issues please contact us.

Jacqueline Penfold
Jacqueline Penfold
Tina Ripley
Tina Ripley