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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50157
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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Can I ask a potential female snr management recruit about her

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Can I ask a potential female snr management recruit about her intentions regarding starting a family in the near future. I am aware that asking questions that have gender bias is unacceptable but this new role involves a significant investment for me in expenses and training which would be a very poor investment if I lose that person in the near future through something predictable out of my control. Maybe I just have to live with that risk?
Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What would you do if she was to state that she plans on starting a family?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

If I am honest given this involves a posting overseas I would be concerned about whether it's too risky an investment. I expect that's the wrong answer.....although frankly I'd feel the same if it were a man proposing to move his wife overseas if planning a family

I am betting she'd have a case for discrimination if I asked and then she did not get the job. By the way I have no idea if she is or isn't!

I am a very small company by the way (not that this would impact the legality!)

Thank you for your response, which I will now review. I will get back to you as soon as possible. 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
Thanks for your patience. You have to be very careful about your actions in these circumstances, particularly as you have identified the risks in doing as you have proposed. You are correct that you cannot simply decide not to offer her this opportunity on the grounds that she may be starting a family in the future as that will be a clear case of discrimination. There are very limited circumstances when discrimination could be justified and that is mainly when being of a particular gender is an occupational requirement, which is a proportional means of achieving a legitimate aim. We are really talking about situations where it would make it very difficult for a job to be done of a person of a specific gender, such as requiring a female employee for reasons of privacy/decency, or anything else where it is clear that a particular gender cannot genuinely do the job for clear reasons that are considered an occupational requirement. Unfortunately, these will not cover your position and the fact that you are a small business which may be affected by her going off on maternity leave and being unable to perform all her duties is not sufficient grounds for you not to select her as a result. So my advice is to avoid approaching the subject at all as any future negative treatment could give rise to her claiming potential discrimination, which is something you would like to avoid. Have some contingency plans in the background in case that happens but do not approach her directly about this and do not treat her detrimentally if she is planning on starting a family in the future.
I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
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