The Race Relations Act 1976 makes it unlawful to discriminate on grounds of race, colour, nationality or ethnic or national origin. This Act covers recruitment, promotion and training. The Act covers direct discrimination, indirect discrimination and victimization. Examples of indirect discrimination would include recruiting from sources, which exclude areas of high settlement of minority ethnic groups or insisting on British qualifications. Word of mouth recruitment in an organization where people from ethnic minority communities are under-represented would also constitute indirect discrimination.
Equal Pay Acts 1970 and 1983 The Equal Pay Act (1970) came into force originally at the end of 1975 and its purpose was to eliminate discrimination in pay between men and women. It was amended in 1983 to include work of equal value and most claims are now under this part of the Act. The Act allows an individual to claim pay equal to that received by members of the opposite sex on the grounds that they are doing: Disability Discrimination Act 1995 The employment sections of the Disability Discrimination Act came into effect on 2nd December 1996. This Act operates in a similar way to the Race Relations Act and the Sex Discrimination Act, but also places a duty on an employer to make 'reasonable adjustments' to premises or working practices to allow a disabled person to be employed.
The definition of disability is wide and includes physical disabilities, sensory disabilities (visual or hearing impairment), learning difficulties, mental health problems as well as progressive conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis and Aids. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 sets a scale of rehabilitation periods for people who have been convicted of criminal offences. After completing such a period without further conviction, the individual can regard any conviction as 'spent' (as if it had not occurred) when applying for jobs other than those which are 'exempted'.
The purpose of the Act is to ensure that a person convicted of a criminal offence is given the opportunity to be freed from that conviction if they have 'gone straight'. There is no need for such a person to disclose to his employer, or prospective employer, any information about his spent conviction even if he is asked whether he has ever been convicted of an offence. Certain convictions such as a term of imprisonment of more than 30 months can never be spent. Some exceptions from the act, where the sentence is never classed as spent include applying for a job.
The Working Time Regulations came into force on the 1st October 1998. These Regulations protect workers from being forced to work excessive hours. They also make the provision of paid annual leave mandatory, and include rights to rest breaks and uninterrupted periods of rest. We provide a summary of the regulations. The Regulations apply to "adult workers" (over 18) and to "young workers" (over compulsory school age), and some of the detailed provisions are slightly different for each of these two groups. There are exceptions to some of the Regulations, primarily for employees working in transport (air, road, rail, sea etc.), sea-fishing, work at sea, doctors in training, certain activities of the armed forces, police and civil protection workers.
If a job were made vacant for a line manager in the new Boots store and a mix number of men and women apply, then it is fair that both sexes are treated equally and fairly. For example if the favored sex were a woman and they had less questions posed to them in the interview than the men that applied then it wouldn't be fair and wouldn't give the men an equal chance to get the job. Furthermore it doesn't allow for the two sexes to be equally compared because the same questions weren't asked.
Race relations Act 1976 If a job was advertised for floor staff to work in a Boots store, then it is important that decisions as to who get the post aren't based on things such as race. If 2 equally suitable, equally qualified women applied for the job but one of them were of Asian ethnicity, then Boots would be allowed to choose the best candidate because of the colour of skin. They would need to look for other distinguishing characters in their personality that would give them the edge over the other, rather than their personal appearance and skin colour.
Equal Pay Acts 1970 and 1983 If 2 posts were filled, one by a man and one by a woman, both of equal job description and with the same job title, then it is important that they are both paid the same rate. It is not just the rate that they are paid however; it is the job that that person has to do to earn that rate. Boots should not make the woman work harder for her pay, they should work equally and get paid equally.
Disability Discrimination Act 1995 If a disabled person in a wheelchair applied for an office job in Boots head office then they must be interviewed and judged the same way a well abled applicant would. They must not be judged on anything but their ability to fill the job role set in the job description and person specification. Furthermore, if the applicant got the job, then any necessary adjustments would need to made within the premises that allow them to carry out the job that anyone else would be. This could include installing ramps and lowering desks, installing hand rails etc.
The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 If an applicant with previous convictions that are now 'spent' got the job in a Boots store but was subsequently found out to have been in prison, it would not be allowed for Boots to treat that person any different or dismiss them because of their previous convictions. Once they are spent, they are no longer judged in the eye of the law as a criminal and therefore are no different to any other applicants. If Boots did dismiss the person then they would be breaking the code of conduct set by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
Working Time Regulations Act 1998 If Boots found a good employee after interviewing hundreds of applicants and were thrilled at the work that they were doing for the company then they may want them to do some extra hours. However if they made that applicant work 5 10 hour days then this would be breaking the working time regulations act as they are working a total of 50 hours which is 2 hours above the 48 limit. If the employee is fine working this amount of hours then a written agreement can be made to say it is ok.
Employment Act 2002 If one of Boots staff became pregnant and subsequently went on maternity leave then they are entitled to up to 26 weeks off. If the mother decides to come back early then it is at their discretion but they must not be pressured by Boots to come back early. Furthermore the mother is entitled to another 26 weeks off but this time unpaid, if Boots were to threaten to not let the mother come back if she uses this unpaid period then they are breaking the employment act.
To prove that Boots take serious not to legislation, they have made a statement on their website about equal opportunities within the business. It reads as follows "We're committed to encouraging everyone to contribute in an environment where they feel respected and valued. We constantly monitor the make-up of our workforce in terms of ethnic origin, gender, age and disability. We've been running a series of briefings which help people acknowledge and value the many ways in which we're different. These sessions communicate what harassment and discrimination actually mean, how to recognise them when a colleague is being affected, and how to take action."
It is not just the acts that need to be followed to ensure that Boots are being discriminatory or unfair. Boots also need to ensure that the relationship between the candidate and the panel is controlled to make sure that there is no unfair advantage or bias interviewing. For example if the candidate is friends with one of the people on the panel then they could be bias in favour of the candidate.
This is the same for things such as being in a relationship with someone on the panel either past or present. It can go against the candidates favour also. If the panel has a grudge against the applicant then they are unlikely to get the job, even if they are the best person they have interviewed, this could lead to an inferior candidate getting the job. Therefore there are rules in place for these eventualities. Boots need to be prepared for things like this to happen and have standby panel interviewers so in the case of a candidate knowing someone on the panel, they could take over and the person originally in the panel not interviewing that one person. Furthermore Boots have to trust the candidates when they investigate and ask them if they know anyone on the panel. It may not always be able to be proved so they need to rely on honesty by both the candidate and the panel to ensure that they comply with ethics and equal opportunities.