There is no single Act governing recruitment and selection, but there are many Acts dealing with the employment relationship that have an impact on pre-employment issues as well. A full list of legislation governing the law on recruitment in the UK is given at the end of these Q&As. The most significant example is the Equality Act 2010.


The Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate against job applicants (and existing workers) because of a ‘protected characteristic,’ namely:

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • race
  • religion or belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • pregnancy and maternity.

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