Businesses looking to recruit and fill vacancies as the UK emerges from lockdown are being warned not to cut corners when it comes to their legal duties.
Shropshire employment lawyer Darryll Thomas has said firms are likely to be advertising significantly more vacancies over the coming months as Covid-19 restrictions are lifted and trading returns to pre-pandemic levels.
However, Mr Thomas, a partner at mfg Solicitors, said firms needed to ensure they comply fully with their responsibilities in order to avoid being hit by fines and court action further down the line.
He said: “Research suggests over half of firms may be looking to accelerate their recruitment soon, which is fantastic news for the economy and for jobseekers.
“The difficulty for employers is that while they will want to emerge from lockdown full steam ahead and get those vacancies filled, that’s not a reason to let their compliance with the law lapse.
“The haste in filling these roles means many may be tempted to cut corners, which could cost them dearly.”
Mr Thomas also urged employers to pay careful attention to their adverts, ensuring they did not discriminate, either directly or indirectly, against any of the protected characteristics.
He is also reminding them of their responsibilities to ensure a standardised interview process, which avoid questions on illness and disabilities, work absence and family plans. Other potential pitfalls include data protection under GDPR and checking someone’s right to work in the UK.
“It has been a really difficult time for employers and jobseekers over the last 18 months, with millions furloughed and many businesses effectively mothballed,” Mr Thomas added.
“Employers looking to recruit need to brush up on their duties as employers and ensure they’ve taken the appropriate advice before they post their vacancies. Then they can get on with rebuilding and emerging from the pandemic ready for the new normal.”