In the video below, employment solicitors Joanne Perry and Mark Fellows (London and St Albans) provide tips on the recruitment process for those responsible for their company’s HR. Watch the video below or read on.
One of the most important areas to be highlighted relates to discrimination – there are nine different characteristics that give people protection in recruitment, including obvious ones such as race, sex, disability and gender, but also less obvious ones such as sexual orientation or marital status. The Equality & Human Rights Commission’s Code of Practice gives the full list and sets out best practice relating to areas such as job advertisements and interviews.
Best practice: job adverts
It is always good practice to avoid discriminatory language such as ‘waitress’ – instead ‘waiting staff’ would not define the position to one particular gender.
Best practice: job interviews
Ensure you don’t ask questions that are discriminatory, particularly in the area of sex – for example, if you ask about child care arrangements this may be seen as a question aimed at women.
When it comes to disability, you need to make sure reasonable adjustments are made to assist the individual in the interview, particularly arrangements for making the interview and ensuring he/she is not disadvantaged in any way during the interview.
The offer letter
This should typically contain the headline terms associated with the offer, but also any conditions attached e.g. a criminal records check and employer references and the legal right to work in the UK. It is good practice to state that you have the right to withdraw the offer if the conditions are not met.
For more information on employment references, read our blog post ‘Employment references: worth the paper they are written on?‘
The contract of employment
In the contract you need to specify: the type of contract e.g. fixed term or zero hours; and the terms and conditions that serve to provide you with protection, some that have to be in there by law, but others that are more discretionary such as confidentiality and intellectual property.
We also recommend that you include a probationary period as something that can be used to measure suitability at an early stage of employment!
Please note: we will be running further FREE employment law and HR related seminars in London and Hertfordshire (Hatfield) – click here for more information and to register your interest.