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Using recruitment agencies

Many employers use recruitment agencies to find staff. If you use an agency, you may think that you are handing over your legal obligations to the agency. This may not be the case.

If you ask a recruitment agency to choose people based on certain personal characteristics, you may be unlawfully discriminating.

You can't ask a recruitment agency to find you staff of a specific:

You can't ask them to avoid people because of their:

Such requests could result in a discrimination complaint being made against both you and the recruitment agency.


Céline, 45, applied for a job as flight attendant on an airline. Although she knew she was better qualified than other applicants, Céline was refused the job. It emerged that the airline had asked a recruitment agency for an applicant shortlist containing "youth and mojo", and Céline had been discriminated against because of her age. Both the airline and the agency were liable.

Use recruitment agencies that have fair processes and operate within the law. For advice on working with recruitment agencies, contact us.

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