26 October 2016
A series of adverts posted by the recruitment agency, Matching Models, recently hit the headlines. These adverts included jobs only for ‘attractive women’ and one advert even specified that the ideal candidate for a personal assistant position would have a certain bra size.
Unsurprisingly, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) have taken issue with Matching Models. Rebecca Hilsenrath, the Chief Executive of the EHRC, labelled their practices “appalling, unlawful and demeaning to women”. She went on to state that the agency should “act like a business in the 21st century and consign this type of sexism to the history books”.
Compensation for sex discrimination claims is uncapped, so the agency would be well advised to change their practices as soon as possible. Of course, this is an extreme example, but there are many far less obvious ways in which employers may find themselves on the wrong side of a discrimination claim. For instance, including a ‘maiden name’ section on your application forms is something that may seem innocuous. However, there is no real reason to request this information and doing so may result in a solicitor’s letter on behalf of an unsuccessful candidate.
Rather interestingly, the EHRC actually undertook a survey recently which indicated that many employers are ill-informed when it comes to the law in relation to recruitment practices. The report found that 39% of employers surveyed were not aware that it is illegal to advertise a job solely in a foreign language, where the foreign language is not required to perform the duty. The survey also highlighted that less than half of employers checked the right to work in the UK of all new employees prior to hiring them and 9% of respondents even believed that foreign workers were not entitled to the same wage as British workers.
At Alpha, we have a vast experience in providing bespoke, practical advice on HR and employment law issues. This includes providing tailored advice on every aspect of the recruitment process. We are proud of our commercial outlook and do not sit on the fence. If you would like to have Alpha on your side, please feel free to contact us.
Martin Kaye have provided advice in some highly complex HR matters and they continue to provide our day to day HR advice through their "ALPHA" HR scheme. They offer a very commercial and pragmatic approach and we have always been impressed by the level of service. The members of staff are approachable and easy to deal with.
Eurofilms Extrusion Ltd
Martin Kaye have provided us with employment and HR advice for several years and we have been very pleased with the level of service and quality of advice provided. We have no hesitation in recommending the team to any organisation which wishes to manage its employment related enquiries.
D Wauchope, Company Secretary
McPhillips (Wellington) Ltd
As a large employer of cleaning personnel, we require expert and prompt employment related advice. Martin Kaye's "ALPHA" service provides this in a clear and robust manner. We have been extremely impressed with the service and would thoroughly recommend them to any employer requiring expert HR & employment support.
J Conry, Chairman
It is important for us to create a close relationship with our advisors. Martin Kaye's "ALPHA" HR service is excellent. It enables us to work closely with our lawyers particularly in the complex area of employment law.
Johnny Hobeika, Operations Manager
Sanita (UK) Ltd
ALPHA is an excellent, reliable, professional service which is an integrated part of our business that we could not do without. This service is part of our structure and provides staff and business with the professional HR Support it requires - Invaluable
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