Fighting discrimination at job interview

Fighting discrimination at job interview

A report published today by the all-party parliamentary group on race and community, focussing on black, Pakistani and Bangladeshi female workers, has uncovered racial discrimination and other barriers at the recruitment stage.

The inquiry also found that many job applicants of ethnic minority had changed their name or appearance to try to overcome prejudices – and when they did their scope for getting a job increased.

Of course, discrimination can take place not just because of your race. Your rights are set out in the Equality Act 2010 and an employer cannot discriminate on the basis of “protected characteristics” set out in the act, which include your race, sex, disability and sexual orientation.

But what are your legal rights if you think your prospective employer has discriminated against you at the interview stage, and what practical steps can you take?

Your first thought may be that although you have suspicions, it will be impossible to prove that prejudices have been the reason for you not getting an interview or being offered the job. There is, however, something you can do.

An individual who thinks he or she has been discriminated against at interview stage is able to serve upon the employer a discrimination questionnaire under the Equality Act 2010, which allows them to effectively “grill” the employer about their treatment.

But it is nevertheless a right of redress and may be an important tool for applicants who deserve to be offered a position based on their skills and qualifications, but have faced the prejudices of discriminating employers.

Have you felt you have been discriminated against when applying for a job? Did the employer say or do anything to confirm your suspicions?