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What information do you need from your new starters?

We are frequently asked for advice about the recruitment process, so I thought I would share with you our top tips to help you to stay on the right side of the law when taking on new employees.

1. Relevant Questions

Only ask for information relevant to the position you are offering. Most employers use a standard application form asking for the usual details including previous positions and employers, education and relevant training courses, contact information and two referees.

2. Assessments

Where possible, during the interview stages, use assessments (i.e a typing exercise if you are recruiting a typist) to identify potential candidates. To gain the most benefit ensure that you provide clear instructions. 

3. Unspent Convictions

During the interview stage – you are entitled to ask candidates about unspent convictions. However, candidates are generally not under an obligation to give details about their spent convictions as they are regarded to have a clean record unless the position applied for involves working with children, vulnerable people or is covered under various exceptions.

4. Do not

Refrain from asking questions in relation to disability, age, race, religion or belief, pregnancy or maternity, marriage or civil partnership, sexual orientation or about gender reassignment unless one of the specific exemption under the Equality Act 2010 applies.

5. Right to work

When a new employee starts, always, request and obtain the necessary documentation to prove they have the right to work in the UK and keep a copy of such documentation in their personnel file. No-compliance can result in hefty fines. 

6. Storage of information

Beware of the new GDPR principles and only ensure that data is kept for no longer than is necessary. Data relating to unsuccessful candidates should not be kept for longer than 6 months unless express consent is granted (note that you must inform candidates that they can write to you at any stage and request the data you hold to be destroyed). 

7. Consistency 

Ensure consistency through the entire process which includes – reviewing applications, interviews and job offers to avoid allegations of discrimination.  

Here at SCE Solicitors, we are experts in helping businesses manage their employees.  We offer clients a fixed fee MyHR package which provides documentation and worksheets to guide you through this and other processes of employment related matters.  If you would like more information about MyHR or have any queries about the recruitment process, other staff issues or would like to discuss how we can be on hand to assist you with all your employment law needs, please contact me on 01133 50 40 30 or at hello@scesolicitors.co.uk.

If you would like to be kept up to date with employment law and dispute resolution updates, please subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

SCE Solicitors is a boutique employment law and dispute resolution practice based in Leeds which advises clients nationwide.  Please note that the information in this blog is to provide information of general interest in a summary manner and should not be construed as individual legal advice. Readers should consult with SCE Solicitors or other professional counsel before acting on the information contained here.

Samira Cakali

Samira Cakali is a pragmatic and approachable solicitor advocate with extensive contentious and non-contentious experience in the fields of employment law as well as civil litigation, within a range of commercial businesses from SME’s to multinationals as well as senior executives.

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