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Information on laws and regulations affecting workers and also employers

Employment law

There are many employment laws put into place to prevent people being discriminated on different types of discrimination which may prevent them to work efficiently as other candidates. It does not matter whether employers are recruiting through employment agencies, career offices, job centres or schools they are not allowed to discriminate.  This includes giving instructions or bringing pressure to an employee through discrimination.

Being discriminated on the grounds of race, sex or marital status
Within the workforce, it is unlawful for employers to advertise vacancies, select interview candidates or offer employment in a form that discriminates an employee on the basis of sex, race or martial status.  If an employee or job applicant feels as though he or she has been discriminated against or on any of these grounds can raise a complaint with the equal opportunities commission, the commission for racial equality or an employment tribunal.

Age discrimination
There is no legislation that forbids discrimination on the basis of age but the department for education and employment has recently published a book called age diversity in employment, a code of practise for employers to abide by to tackle age discrimination in employment.

Trade unions
An employer cannot refuse an employee on the grounds of membership or non-membership in a trade union.

If an employer makes a decision not to appoint a woman on the grounds that she is pregnant is likely to be found to be discriminatory against sex.

Disability discrimination
If a disabled person is unjustifiably discriminated on the grounds of their disability with 15 or more employees in the work force it is unlawful.  At all stages within the recruitment process this law is similar to the current sex and race legislation and the way it applies.

Employing EU and EEA nationals

Citizens of the EU and EEA are known as European nationals and do not need work permits as they have the right to come to the UK and look for work. In addition, family members of European nationals also have an automatic right to accompany such European nationals to the UK if they are granted work. However, if they want to stay within the UK for a longer period than 6 months they should apply for a residence permit.

Related topics:

Tips for employers on how to conduct a interview

Advice on writing a job description

How to avoid age discrimination in your job adverts

What is meant by Genuine Occupational Qualifications or GOQ's

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