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Employers beware of bogus applicants

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The recent employment tribunal case of Berry v Recruitment Revolution & Others has highlighted the dangers of age discrimination in recruitment campaigns.

John Berry had replied to the job advertisements of various higher education establishments requesting recent graduates or school leavers. He then filed claims against them for age discrimination when he was not given a job. In many cases, the employers paid out a fee of one thousand pounds to settle the claim, rather than arguing the case in a tribunal.

However, in the Recruitment Revolution decision, the judge discovered that Mr Berry was seeking to exploit the law for his own gain and made him pay the defendant’s costs.

Despite the outcome, the case warns that employers need to be careful in ensuring that their recruitment practices are compliant with age and other discrimination laws, particularly in light of the new Equality Act. The job and person specification should only specify requirements that are directly related to the job. For example, asking for a certain number of years of experience or for someone who is ‘young and dynamic’ may be interpreted as biased against younger or older applicants respectively.

Legal advice should be sought by employers who are uncertain as to whether their recruitment policies and advertisements are legally compliant.

Businesses should also seek legal advice in the event of receiving employment claims, instead of simply paying out where they may not need to.


Written by Andrew Hodges

February 8, 2011 at 6:50 pm

Posted in Comment, LinkedIn

Tagged with ,

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