HR

Interviews – Keeping it Legal

Whether you’re a multinational organisation hiring dozens of new recruits through the annual graduate food chain, or a small owner-managed business looking to hire just one or two new employees a year, the rules for interviewing the candidates is the same for everyone –keep it legal.

Up until the mid 1970’s it was a case of anything goes, but a number of pieces of legislation introduced since then have sought to remove the possibility of discrimination when interviewing and hiring. If you’re not used to conducting interviews, or do them very infrequently, there’s a chance you may stray off into one of the “grey” areas, so here’s a quick guide to what not to ask and how to keep it legal.

Age

It should be obvious to everyone that you can’t ask “how old are you?”, but there are other, less direct, questions which would also be considered age discriminatory such as “how long before you are expecting to retire?” or “what year did you start school?”. The only time you might require someone of a minimum age is for the sale of certain restricted products, so a simple “are you over 18?” should suffice. There is no legitimate reason to require someone to be of a maximum age.

Race or Religion

You may not realise it, but asking someone about where they were born could lead to issues of racial or religious discrimination. If you’re wanting to check if they  have the right credentials to work in the UK, don’t ask “where were you born?”, instead simply enquire if they are eligible to work in the UK. And if you require someone to speak English, it cannot be a pre-requisite that it is their first language, so asking what their native language should always be considered irrelevant.

Marital/Relationship Status

Whilst it may seem like a nice conversational topic for an informal interview, steer away from asking someone if they are married or in a long-term relationship. It is an irrelevant fact when it comes to someone’s ability to do the job, even though some employees traditionally favour “settled” married employees and others prefer “hungry and carefree” singles. Asking about relationship status may also inadvertently lead into questioning a candidate’s sexual orientation which should also cause a red flag in an interview.

Parental Status & Pregnancy

This one is simple – don’t ask if someone has children and don’t ask if they are pregnant or planning a family. If you require someone to work long or irregular hours and are concerned about whether or not they have suitable childcare arrangements in place, it’s not your business to know. You can ensure your candidate knows what typical working patterns are required for the role and it is up to them to decide if it is right for them.

Gender

When we say gender, we’re not talking “are you male or female?” Rather, using someone’s gender to inadvertently imply they might not be suitable for the role. Examples include “are you happy to manage mostly male employees?” or “are you comfortable working for a female boss?” Just steer clear of these types of questions altogether.

Disability & Health

Asking about disability and health (including “how many sick days did you take last year?”) should always be avoided. If someone needs adjustment to a working environment, this can be determined after you’ve already offered them the job, but only if it is relevant to the role.

How Park City Can Help

Avoiding discriminatory interview questions doesn’t have to be a minefield; the key is to remember that the only things relevant to someone’s ability to do a job are their qualifications, skills or experience. It’s your job to assess the candidate’s suitability and provide them with any information they need to know in order to make their own decision about whether they want the job.

Park City have extensive experience of helping clients through the whole recruitment process, from job specifications and interviews, through to candidate selection and employment contracts. We can either run the process with you, or just provide you with advice and expertise to make it run as smoothly as possible. Contact our professional HR team today to find out more.

Get in Touch

Name

Schedule A Call

Simply click below to schedule a call with a specialist to discuss your business requirements.

Saul HunnaballSaul Hunnaball
15:44 12 Aug 22
We have worked with Park City for our HR and Health and Safety support for many years now and have always received an excellent service.Carley is our Consultant and she is always so helpful, as are... her colleagues when she is unavailable.I would highly recommend Park City.read more
Lea CuttingLea Cutting
08:31 27 Jul 22
Park City have worked with us for many years, advising and guiding us regarding HR and Health & Safety, along with supplying valuable training.We work with many people in several areas of expertise,... Sara Godfrey, Jennie Galione, Ashley Williams, Sam Parcell, Stephanie Devans, Poppy Hayhoe.They build confidence within our company and are always available with support and advice.They provide a consistent, professional, hands-on service, second to none!Thank you from DH Industries Limited.read more
Vikki PringleVikki Pringle
11:12 20 Jul 22
The team at Park City offer us the right level of service needed to confidently run a small business. They keep us up to date with UK policy HR requirements, help us manage any staff changes or... issues and policy documents. The team are informed, friendly and remain professional in my experience.read more
Tracy MeadTracy Mead
07:12 20 Jul 22
The DS Group have been working with Park City now for a number of years and we have found their HR services to be invaluable. The service received is always to the highest professional standards and... they have assisted our business in becoming more efficient and effective in all HR matters.My consultant Sam Parcell is always on hand to help answering any questions quickly and professionally and she offers vital guidance, advice and support to us.We as a company will continue to use Park City’s services for many years to come and we cannot recommend them enough!Tracy Norton-Mead, Operations Director at the DS Group.read more
Katie HerbertKatie Herbert
13:35 07 Jul 22
We have worked with Park City for almost 10 years and have built up a great professional relationship over the years. The team are so friendly and helpful, and nothing is ever too much of an ask for... any of them. Our main HR contact is Carley, who is lovely, and she is very prompt in dealing with any queries we have regarding our 100+ staff. We would highly recommend their services for any local business.read more
js_loader

Suggested For You…

Google Rating
4.9
Based on 37 reviews
js_loader