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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46759
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Due to a potential change of location partner's

Resolved Question:

Hi
Due to a potential change of location for my partner's job I recently applied for a senior lecturer post in a university where I was formerly employed as a senior lecturer for 5 years. When I left the university I did so of my own free will with an unblemished work record and very good references. I continued to teach on a per session basis for several years after I left and only gave this up due to pressures of work.
I think it is fair to say that I meet the criteria for the post as I am currently doing the same job in a different university. I was careful to ensure that my application reflected how I met the person specification.
I spoke to the line manager about the post prior to submitting my application and was told that my application would be very welcome. I was somewhat surprised to find out this morning by e mail, that I have not been shortlisted for the post and frustrated that the e mail indicated that they were not prepared to give feedback as to why.
I have e mailed the line manager for some feedback but have not heard anything. Can you advise on my rights in relation to this?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello do you know why you may not have been shortlisted for this?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have no idea - as I said I worked for the university previously in the role of senior lecturer and left on good terms, I know the line manager that I spoke to and she was very positive about the prospect of my application. I have no idea why I have not been shortlisted.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you as soon as I can. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am sorry but I am not in a position to take a call at the moment and would prefer an e mail response.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
No problem, just finalising that.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
The legal position is that employers have the right to choose who they employ and can make such decisions based on a wide range of factors. There could be a number of reasons why one candidate is chosen in preference to others or why someone is not given a job, even if they are generally considered to be the best candidate. It is generally lawful for the employer to use whatever factors they feel are relevant and appropriate in the circumstances to come to that decision. The only requirement in law is that the employer’s decision is not based on discriminatory grounds. That means that it should not base its decision on factors relating to gender, race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, etc. If its decision is based on any of these, there will be a potential case of discrimination and the affected person can potentially take this further. However, in the absence of any discriminatory reasons, the employer will rarely be acting unlawfully and will have the general power to be selective over whom it employs, even if it this generally appears to be unfair. So to be able to challenge that you would need to show that there was discrimination on one or more of the above mentioned grounds. If that is not possible then it is simply a moral argument rather than a legal one. I'm sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you were hoping for, however I do have a duty to be honest and explain the law as it actually stands. This does mean delivering bad news from time to time. I hope you understand and would be happy to provide any further clarification if needed. If you are still satisfied with the level of service you have received I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page. Thank you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi this doesn't really answer my question - do the employers have the right to refuse to give feedback and is there any action I can take to find out why I wasn't shortlisted?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
There is no legal obligation on an employer to provide feedback - this is entirely discretionary. As to trying to find out the reasons, you could try and make a subject access request to get the employer to release whatever personal information they hold about you, such as the documents relating to the reasons they rejected you but there are exceptions they can use not to release such information so it really depends on whether they know of them or not, so it is still worth trying. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the procedure you need to follow to request such informaiton, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 46759
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. Section 7 of the Data Protection Act 1998 entitles an individual to request from a data controller a copy of any information which amounts to personal data about them. The process is known as a Subject Access Request (SAR). If you wish to make a SAR, you need to write to the organisation that holds the data in question. Your letter should include the following information:{C}· Make it clear that you are making a 'subject access request in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998';{C}· Provide details of the data you are requesting copies of;{C}· Any information you believe the organisation will require to find your information. For example, your employer may need your payroll number or other details The organisation may ask for a fee to fulfil your request, which should not be more than £10. Once you have provided all the relevant information and fee, the organisation must send you a formal response within 40 days. The main remedies open to individuals if they suspect a breach of the above rules are:· A statutory request to the Information Commissioner asking them to determine whether or not it is likely that the SAR has been carried out lawfully.· An application to court alleging breach of the SAR rules and seeking an order for compliance.· A claim for damages against the data controller and, if the individual concerned can show they have suffered damage, a claim for compensation for distress.

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