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Beware The CV Racial Discrimination Trap25th Aug 2016

by Neil Andrews on 25th Aug 2016

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Busy employer? Recruiting? Ploughing through piles of CVs you don’t have time to read?Employment law solicitor Neil Andrews, a Partner at Coles Miller, Poole

They all look the same after a while. A couple even look identical. And then it dawns on you. They are identical. In all but the name.

You’ve rumbled them. They must have downloaded it from the internet. Actually it’s more sinister than that. It’s a deliberate trap.

Some students are funding their studies by sending out identical CVs – one with a traditional English name, the other with a name that suggests racial minority ethnicity – then claiming racial discrimination when they don’t get the job.

And as any smart employer knows:

  • the ‘aggrieved’ does not have to be an employee to sue you
  • there are no limits on the compensation in discrimination cases.

Remember, this was never a genuine complaint. Just someone playing the system. There should be a law against it. Now there is – or at least a ruling.

The European Court of Justice has said that EU directives cannot be relied on by a person applying for employment just to claim discrimination.

Brexit vote notwithstanding, that ruling still applies to UK courts. We’re still in the EU for the moment; our courts are currently still subordinate to the ECJ.

So Europe is on the side of employers in this instance. But that’s no excuse to let your guard drop. Prevention is always better than cure.

If you have any doubts about whether your recruitment process – or any other aspect of your HR – is legally compliant, it pays to get expert advice.

Contact Coles Miller Partner Neil Andrews, head of the Commercial Department and an employment law specialist, 01202 355695.

This document is not intended to constitute and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice on any specific matter. No liability for the accuracy of the content of this document, or the consequences of relying on it, is assumed by the author. If you seek further information, please contact Managing Partner Neil Andrews at Coles Miller Solicitors LLP.