Are British Workers Preferred?

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There is a political storm blowing in Parliament whether employers should employ British workers over immigrants. The media are quick to name and shame some of these major retailers and big businesses about how they allegedly target immigrants as they are supposedly lower paid. So what kind of role model are these large corporate to SME’s? Is there one rule for them allowing them to discriminate against who they employ and another rule for SME’S? Well the UK law applies to all employers in the same way, regardless of their size. As far as recruitment is concerned, the law states any applicant should not be discriminated against or treated unfavourably because of any of the protected characteristics (age, race, religion or belief, sex, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnerships, pregnancy, sexual orientation) It is worth remembering, applicants are protected from unfair treatment or discrimination even before they are employed and in the job. Equality legislation covers the entire recruitment process from drawing up the person specification and job description to making the final selection on whom the successful candidate is. Some examples of discrimination during the recruitment process would be:
  • Not accepting overseas qualifications where they are comparable and equivalent to UK qualifications;
  • Stating a younger person would be ideal for the role as they need to be ‘driven’;
  • Failing to make adjustments to help a disabled individual access the recruitment process;
The National Minimum Wage means employers cannot pay or offer lower wages to further attract immigrants. By considering solely the applicant’s experience, qualifications and skills and complying with employment legislation, employers can protect themselves from any discrimination claims relating to the recruitment process. Furthermore, employers are more likely to employ the best person for the job.

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