Creating a fairer Britain
Giving job applicants a monitoring form will help you to see who has applied for the job and who has been selected, in terms of their protected characteristics. You could then compare who has applied for jobs against the profile of jobseekers in the local community, nationally, in your sector and the profile of employees already in the organisation. This highlights any groups who are not applying or not getting further on in the recruitment. If this is happening, then look again at your assessment processes: are you excluding good applicants unnecessarily?
Equality law does not say that you have to use a monitoring form to find out individual personal information about your job applicants and their protected characteristics as part of the recruitment process.
But if you do use a monitoring form and this tells you about a person’s protected characteristics, then you must not use this information to discriminate against them. You must not base decisions about who to take further into the application process on the information people give on the monitoring form.
In general, you must not ask a job applicant questions relating to health or disability. One of the exceptions to this rule applies to monitoring. You are allowed to ask questions about health or disability if the point of this is to find out how many job applicants are disabled people and whether they are shortlisted or appointed.
Answers to monitoring questions about health or disability should be dealt with in the same way as the answers to other monitoring questions, in other words, they should be kept separately from the main application form. The person or people shortlisting and appointing should not see the information before deciding who to interview or appoint.
If, exceptionally, someone’s protected characteristics are playing a part in the decision-making,
then you should make this clear when you ask people to apply for the job and ask them separately from the monitoring form if they have the relevant protected characteristic. This makes sure that the person or people making the decision about who to interview or employ only see the information about protected characteristics that is relevant and do not need to see the monitoring form itself.
If you do use a monitoring form, then the information that is on it is likely to be personal and you should make sure that it is kept safely so that people’s confidentiality or data protection rights are not broken. This may be particularly important for some protected characteristics, such as gender reassignment, and some disabilities, such as HIV status and mental health conditions.
Check who is applying for jobs
See if people with protected characteristics are under-represented, for example, compared with your local area and sector, and
Think about what you could do to address this.
You can read more about monitoring in the Equality and Human Rights Commission guide: Good equality practice for employers: equality policies, equality training and monitoring.