Our Views on Using Anonymous CVs

2 mins

Posted on 23 Jan 2012

Over 100 major UK businesses have signed up to Nick Clegg’s Business Compact, committing to using fair and non-discriminatory recruitment practices, including the use of  “name-blank” and school-blank” applications where appropriate.  

The initiative is part of Nick Clegg’s social mobility strategy launched in April last year, aimed at giving opportunities to people from all walks of life and ending the “who you know, not what you know” culture.  Other commitments include advertising work experience placements online and in schools, rather than just giving places to informal contacts and opening up internship opportunities by providing financial support, in the form of expenses/ accommodation or treating the internship as a job and paying the national minimum wage.

Commenting on the latest initiative Piers Leigh-Pollitt, a partner in our Reading office, said:

“Employers need to ensure that they have recruitment processes in place which do not directly or indirectly discriminate against candidates on grounds of race, age, sex, disability etc.  Recruiting on the basis of anonymised CVs can help, as it closes the door to any argument by a candidate with a foreign-sounding name that their race or nationality (perceived or actual) was the reason why they were not shortlisted for interview.  

However, anonymised CVs are not the complete solution as there is still the potential for discrimination to occur during the later stages of the recruitment process, for example at interview, where a person’s race or nationality is more likely to be apparent.  It is therefore important that equality of opportunity is embedded into all stages of the recruitment process.      

Work experience placements and unpaid internships have traditionally only been available to those with contacts in the right places and who can afford to work for free.   However, if the intern is doing work, the chances are that they are protected as a worker which means that they will be entitled to be paid the national minimum wage, currently £6.08 per hour for those aged 21 or over.  Employers need to ensure they pay the national minimum wage where it is due, otherwise they may be liable to a criminal penalty, as well as having to pay back pay.”

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