This article has been submitted by Greenaway Scott
Many of the people reading this will have undergone an interview and potentially testing in a bid to secure a job.
But were you aware that being asked to take part in a multiple-choice test during this process could amount to discrimination?
Here, Greenaway Scott’s Employment Associate, Kirsty Leeke explains why a straight forward approach could be more inclusive.
In the recent case of The Government Legal Service (“GLS”) v Brookes (“B”), B applied for a legal training contract at GLS.
B has Asperger’s Syndrome and informed GLS that she would require reasonable adjustments, namely a short form answer format, to enable her to properly carry out a multiple choice test which formed part of the recruitment process.
GLS refused B’s request and B expressed her concerns about the potentially discriminatory impact of the test. B took the test and scored 12 out of 22 with the pass mark being 14. B did not progress any further in the recruitment process.
B subsequently brought claims of indirect discrimination and a failure to make reasonable adjustments against GLS and succeeded with both claims.
The Employment Tribunal (and subsequently the Employment Appeals Tribunal) found that B had been subject to a ‘provision, criterion or practice’ (“PCP”) that had put a group of people such as B at a particular disadvantage, when compared with those who did not have Asperger’s Syndrome.
In particular, B was put at a substantial disadvantage.
The Employment Tribunal recommended that GLS should review its psychometric testing procedures for candidates and particularly in relation to job applicants with a disability.
With this in mind here are some key considerations for employers when carrying out a recruitment process to ensure they are not discriminatory.
- Identify PCPs that are in place.
- Are you aware of any of the candidates having a disability?
- Could the PCPs put a candidate with a specific disability at a disadvantage during the recruitment process?
- If yes, can this PCP be justified? Consider:
- Was there a legitimate aim?
- If so, was it proportionate?
- Remember there is a duty to make reasonable adjustments to assist and accommodate job applicants with a disability. Consider possible reasonable adjustments that could be made.