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Equality North East

Equality Bill amendment on pre-employment questionnaires

The Equality Bill has now been passed by the House of Commons and will progress to the House of Lords with an amendment which restricts the use of pre-employment questionnaires about health or disability during the recruitment process.

The clause regarding pre-employment questionnaires aims to address concerns raised by disability organisations that, because there is no restriction under the Disability Discrimination Act, there is fairly widespread use of such enquiries by employers to discriminate against people who declared a disability by not selecting them for interview or other selection stages.

The amendment means that an employer will be deterred from asking candidates questions about their health until after they have shown they meet some of the non-health criteria of a job. If an employer asks a question before this stage it may be found to have directly discriminated against a disabled candidate.

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December 9, 2009

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