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UK — Ethnic minority taskforce to report on discrimination in employment

04 January 2010

Research commissioned by the department for Working and Pensions reveals that people who apply for vacancies with foreign sounding names have to send almost twice as many job applications as people with British sounding names in order to receive an invitation for interview, The Guardian reports.

The French government is currently running a test scheme on so-called 'anonymous CVs' whereby information such as names, age, sex, date and place of birth, nationality and marital status are banned in order to avoid discrimination of any kind.

Jeremy Crook, Vice-Chair of the Ethnic Minority Advisory Group and the Black Training and Enterprise Group commented on the French scheme "such a move would be a step forward in the UK. We know from the recent research evidence that there is discrimination in applications. A lot of people aren't even getting to the door."

Tom Hadley of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) said he had seen a growing trend towards anonymity. "A lot of companies are doing it to cover themselves in case candidates claim there has been discrimination. We have seen it, in particular, with [recruitment] agencies who work with public sector organisations or with blue chip companies who are quite ahead of the game in terms of diversity and equality."

A spokeswoman for the government's Equalities Office said "the ethnic minority taskforce will be meeting in January and we are waiting to hear the taskforce's recommendations about the findings in their report before any further decisions are made."



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