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:
- gender reassignment
- marriage and civil partnership
- pregnancy and maternity
- religion or belief
- 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.