Expert comment available today on dealing with fraudulent multiple job applications
Employers are being warned by a North West lawyer of an increase in bogus job applicants who are setting companies up for costly discrimination claims.
Discrimination legislation, now in place in the UK, is relevant for employers dealing with job applications as well as dealing with existing employees.
Russell Brown, head of employment at Manchester-based law firm Glaisyers, comments:
“We are seeing a steady rise in this type of claim and it is becoming an increasingly common phenomenon. The bogus applicant will usually have identified a vacancy that is likely to attract a high number of applications. They then complete more than one application for the same job, one being genuine, the others including the same basic information but with false details. They may alter information relating to race, sex, disability, religion or sexual orientation.
“Applications are monitored and if the genuine form receives less favourable treatment than the false one, the applicant has potential evidence that an employer has discriminated against them.
“The option of settling the claim without the need for Tribunal litigation becomes very attractive to the employer and the applicant may then receive a potentially substantial payment for having done very little.”
However, the risks can be reduced through careful recruitment practice. Amongst other things, this involves applying set criteria in order to demonstrate a transparent process and recording minutes of the interview in writing. Commitment to equal opportunities can be highlighted through the use of an equal opportunities statement on the form.
Steer clear of asking for information on race, gender, disability, religious belief or sexual orientation until a job offer has been made. If this data is needed, supply a separate detachable sheet and don’t ask for photographs with application forms.
Staff delegated with responsibility for short-listing candidates, should be trained in equality issues and recruitment processes. A Tribunal may take a very dim view of employers who don’t provide staff with the appropriate equal opportunities training. Be warned!
For further information please contact:
Russell Brown Vicki Baxter/Joanne Fletcher-Wall
0161 832 4666 01625 506425
Notes to editors
Russell Brown is a solicitor and head of Glaisyers’ employment team, practising exclusively in employment law acting for both employers and senior level employees. He advises clients in a broad range of industries throughout the North West including both national and international companies. He regularly contributes to various HR publications and speaks on employment law at employer groups and more recently on behalf of the BBC and SKY television.
Glaisyers was established in Manchester in 1974. It is now an eleven partner firm with offices in central Manchester and Longsight. With a staff of 86 people they are a medium sized firm small enough to retain the general practice ethos but big enough to ensure that all solicitors are specialists in their chosen fields. The Manchester office specialises in commercial and residential property for both private individuals and commercial developers together with company commercial transactions, personal injury, road traffic act cases, litigation and financial services.
In Longsight the emphasis is on family work, child care, tenant related housing disputes, welfare benefits, domestic conveyancing, probate and wills. Both these offices hold Legal Aid franchises for the relevant work area.