Discrimination in Recruitment

23rd February 2018

The BBC has reported that a David Hanger recently applied for a position as a driver with courier firm, UPS. He was told that he was an ideal candidate for the role but that he would need to shave off his beard before he started with them.

This was down to UPS’s company policy which required all delivery drivers to be clean shaven. Mr Hanger commented that the policy amounted to “discrimination”. UPS has said that the policy was “known and accepted by its employees throughout the company” and that beards for medical and religious reasons were acceptable.

Employer considerations

This is a reminder to employers on the importance of good recruitment practice free from discrimination. Whilst is remains to be seen whether this case proceeds to tribunal, employers should always demonstrate a sensitivity to religious practices and medical reasons that may require individuals to keep a beard.

This should contribute towards minimising the risk of discrimination.


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