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France — Government launches anonymous CV experiment

03 November 2009

50 French companies and local governments have agreed to take part in the French government's testing of recruitment via anonymous CVs in order to prevent racism, ageism and other prejudices, Agence France Presse reports.

The anonymous CV is designed to open the door for job seekers. It can therefore only be regarded as a first step in the recruitment process. Information such as names, age, sex, date and place of birth, nationality, marital status and photographs are banned in order to avoid prejudicial reactions.

Even though the French parliament made the anonymous CV a legal requirement more than three years ago, it has never been enforced. Management has been remarkably reluctant to promote this way of recruitment and the government took the view that voluntary participation by companies is far more sensible than enforced recruitment by anonymous CV.

President Nicholas Sarkozy said last year that "we are not going to advance by forcing companies [to employ via anonymous CVs] but by pragmatism and conviction. I want the anonymous CV to become a normal reflex for employers."

Companies like AXA, Sanofi-Aventis and BNP-Paribas have decided to take part as well as seven local governments, a number of medium-sized firms and a number of unnamed temporary employment agencies. The results of the test will be published at the end of April 2010.

In 2007 the International Labour Office (ILO), had published research revealing that four out of five French employers prefer to hire job seekers of French origin and white skin colour, a discrimination which is, in theory, punishable by imprisonment and large fines.



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