Holding seminars and training sessions forms a central part of what we do at Matthew Arnold & Baldwin. We want to share our expertise and insight, and to help our clients navigate the veritable legal minefields within which they work.
I am often struck by just how many complications and risks recruiters and HR professionals are expected to face, often without legal guidance until someone makes a mistake, so it’s encouraging to see recruitment agencies being proactive and seeking legal training before there’s a problem. At a recent employment seminar we held for a major UK recruiter, we took advantage of the opportunity to share with them bespoke training and advice, with a focus on discrimination of candidates through adverts and the selection process, references, restrictive covenants and data protection, and liability under the Agency Workers Regulations which came into force a year ago.
Anti-discrimination legislation is highly complex and disconcertingly easy to violate. Stipulating that applicants should have “graduated in the last seven years” or saying the “The atmosphere in the office, although demanding, is lively, relaxed and young” could all create legitimate grounds for an candidate to bring a claim. Indeed, a significant portion of the seminar dealt with a particular case study where a candidate had been asked at interview how he would feel about working with, and reporting to, younger colleagues – an incident which has since led to his raising a claim against and the recruiter and prospective hirer. Attendees debated for some time how such an issue could be avoided while retaining the ability to establish whether the candidate was in fact suitable for the role.
One of the core concerns which came out of the session was the fact that, as part of the recruitment process, recruitment professionals are every bit as liable as the employers themselves for ensuring that appropriate measures are put in place and procedures followed which comply with all relevant legislative requirements. This is something that recruiters simply cannot afford not to take notice of.
For further information or if you’d like to discuss our holding a seminar for your organisation, please feel free to get in touch.