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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71449
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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My 17 year old daughter applied for a job at a cleaning

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My 17 year old daughter applied for a job at a cleaning company and on the forms they sent her to fill in and bring to the interview, they asked for her height, weight and eye colour. This seems suspicious and wring to me, are these normal things to ask?
JA: Has your daughter discussed this with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: No, she did not go to the interview as she was suspicious.
JA: Does the workplace operate with employees, freelancers, consultants, contractors or with unionised employees?
Customer: I believe it is with employees
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Is there a reason she is not happy to provide these? Please note this is not always an instant service and I may not be able to reply immediately. However, rest assured that I am dealing with your question and will get back to you today. Thanks

Customer: replied 21 days ago.
It seems odd, and unsettling as to why they would need her eye colour. I have never been asked what my eye colour is going for any job. It has no relevance on the cleaning job, so I am wondering if there is any legitimate reason employers might ask for this.

Thank you very much for clarifying. I do agree that it is an unusual request and not something you see very often at all. I cannot guess what the employer’s reasons behind it are, apart from perhaps a requirement for internal ID documents where they also hold some biometric data on them.

Whatever the reason, it is not unlawful to ask for such information. There can be no legal discrimination on these grounds, such as if they refuse to give her the job if she has a particular eye colour, or refuses to provide that information. Same goes for her height and weight.

Discrimination only occurs if someone is treated detrimentally due to a protected characteristic. The Equality Act 2010 lists several protected characteristics, which are protected from detrimental treatment. Therefore, if someone is using any of these protected characteristics to treat someone detrimentally, that will likely amount to unlawful discrimination. They are:

- age

- disability

- gender reassignment

- marriage and civil partnership

- pregnancy and maternity

- race

- religion or belief

- sex

- sexual orientation

Unless her eye colour, height or weight were clearly affected by a disability or other grounds which are a protected characteristic, they can be considered in the recruitment process as the employer sees fit.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 21 days ago.
Ok, thank you for your swift response.

You are most welcome. If you have any further questions about this then please do not hesitate to get back to me and I will be glad to help. All the best