Job Adverts and Discrimination
There are nine characteristics protected under the Equality Act 2010. They are:
- gender reassignment
- marriage and civil partnership
- pregnancy and maternity
- religion or belief
- sexual orientation
Protected characteristics should play no role in an employer’s decision to employ an individual. To this end, less favourable treatment is prohibited by sections 39 and 40 of the Equality Act 2010.
Section 39 states:
"An employer (A) must not discriminate against a person (B)
in the arrangements A makes for deciding to whom to offer employment;
as to the terms on which A offers B employment;
by not offering B employment".
This has a double effect:
a. It means that job adverts must not limit who can apply based on any protected characteristic.
b. Following the advert, candidates should not be subject to detriment due to any such protected characteristic. If they can show that they have then they can bring a claim in the Employment Tribunal seeking uncapped damages.
The Company will be vicariously liable for discriminatory acts of its employees such as inappropriate job adverts and decisions based on protected characteristics.
A recruitment policy (included in a staff handbook) can often provide helpful assistance to avoid the pitfalls of discrimination at the recruitment stages.