Workplaces and recruitment agencies should increase their understanding of the law in relation to recruitment so that they are not at risk of discriminating against candidates on the basis of their nationality, says a report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). This will help them to better demonstrate that they are using a fair, lawful and transparent recruitment and selection process
The EHRC found that:
- Twenty-eight per cent of recruitment agents incorrectly believed that employers are allowed to advertise for people with English as their first language (in practice employers are permitted to request English language skills, but not English as a mother tongue).
- Less than half of workplaces (45%) knew that employers must check that all job applicants have a right to work in the UK before employing them, irrespective of their place of birth – this was the question that workplaces were most likely to get wrong (52% answered incorrectly).
- Only a minority of workplaces agreed that it is illegal for an employer to advertise jobs in Britain exclusively in a foreign language (39%) unless the ability to speak a language is a genuine requirement of the job. In such circumstances, it is advisable to advertise in both languages so all applicants know that speaking the language is a requirement. Only 0.065% of workplaces had said they had advertised exclusively in a foreign language.
- Larger workplaces (those with 100 or more staff) tended to have slightly higher awareness of their legal obligations than small ones (10–24 staff).
Download the full report and the executive summary below.