Questions you should NEVER ask in an interview.
Are you married?
What are your family plans?
What religion are you?
How old are you/ What is your Date of birth?
Are you from the UK?
Is English your first language?
How many sickness days did you take during your last job?
Do you have any previous criminal convictions?
Questions you can ask:
Do you have any current commitments that may affect your ability to do your job or affect your attendance?
What languages do you fluently speak?
Are you over 21?
Please can I see evidence of your right to work in the UK?
Do you have any specific requirements in order to perform this job effectively?
Do you have any unspent convictions?
Equality Act 2010
Under the Equality Act 2010 there are nine protected characteristics that you as an employer should never discriminate against.
These are: Age, Disability, Gender reassignment, Marriage and civil partnership, Pregnancy and maternity, Race, Religion or belief, Sex, Sexual orientation.
As such it is best that you avoid any questions that suggest discriminatory assumptions.
Any questions about marital status, childcare, family plans or religious and cultural backgrounds can not be legally asked in an interview. Don't ask any questions about work seekers needing special time off for religious purposes.
Avoid any questions relating to age; as making a decision of employment based on age is illegal. The only situations that you are required by law to ascertain the candidates age is where age limits still apply; such as: Minimum Wage; Young workers; Working Time Directive and Health & Safety
Please note that Date of Birth must be recorded if a work seeker is under 21 to ensure they are paid the correct level of minimum wage. There may also be situations such as recruiting for a job when you need to be over 18 (such as selling alcohol), however you must only confirm that they are above this age.
Don't only ask non white candidates for work permit status, all candidates should be asked to provide evidence of their right to work in UK.
Avoid asking questions about any health or disabilities issues before a job has been offered. The only circumstances in which this type of question can be asked is to establish whether an applicant needs an assessment to determine their suitability for the job, or to determine whether reasonable adjustments need to be made in relation to the selection process. Any information gathered must not be considered in deciding suitability for the role. Interviews should focus on abilities; what a candidate can do rather than what they can not.
Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
Under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, it is unlawful for an employer to refuse employment to an individual because they have a spent conviction, unless it relates to a role which convictions can never be spent such as Lawyer, Dentist, Doctors, those involved in care of elderly, sick, vulnerable adults or children, etc.
This is by no means a definitive list and the information provided is for general guidance only and a basic summary of the Equalities Act and Rehabilitation of Offenders Act.
For more information and advice you contact:
Or to view the full scope of the acts, visit: www.legislation.gov.uk