HL Deb 21 March 2000 vol 611 cc17-8WA
Lord Avebury

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What are their views on the growing practice by employers of asking for details on job applicants' sexual orientation; whether they will make it clear that employers should not discriminate against a job applicant who declines to give this information; and whether they have taken advice on the compatibility of this practice with Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. [HL1487]

The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment (Baroness Blackstone)

The Government encourage employers to ensure that they do not discriminate in their recruitment processes. I understand that some employers may consider it appropriate to monitor applications with a view to ensuring that discrimination does not take place in their recruitment procedures. Some job applicants will feel, however, that their sexual orientation is not something a prospective employer need be aware of, and no employer should discriminate against applicants who choose not to declare their sexual orientation for whatever reason.

Individual employers should seek legal advice on whether this practice complies with the Human Rights Act and other laws.