Documents for Business

In excess of 1,000 customisable documents covering every conceivable business issue.

Introduction to this document

Application form

Only seek personal information on an application form that is relevant to the recruitment decision. Our application form ensures you ask all the right questions.

Of relevant application

If you require candidates to fill in an application form rather than send in their CV, be careful what questions you ask. Only request information that is relevant to the performance of the job, for example, details of the candidate’s education, qualifications, work experience and skills, and do not ask for information which indicates an intention on your part to unlawfully discriminate on any of the prohibited grounds (race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, pregnancy or maternity, married or civil partnership status, age and disability), for example, requesting that the candidate provide their date of birth, details of their children or a photograph. Our Application Form is a useful precedent for your use.

Ill health

Under the Equality Act 2010, it is no longer permissible to ask questions about a candidate’s health (including whether they have a disability) before offering them work or, where you are not in a position to offer them work immediately, before including them in a pool of persons to whom you intend to offer work in the future. However, there are some exceptions to this general prohibition and one of these is where you are making health-related enquiries that are necessary to establish whether a duty to make reasonable adjustments will arise in connection with the selection process. Thus, our application form simply asks what special arrangements the candidate would require to attend interview.

Previous convictions

Only request information about criminal convictions if that information can be justified in terms of the job on offer, and also consider whether it’s appropriate to limit the information sought to offences that have a direct bearing on suitability for the particular job and whether the information should be verified with the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) through a criminal records check. Even if justified, spent convictions do not have to be declared unless the job falls within an "excepted" category (and, even then, "protected cautions" and "protected convictions", as defined in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975, don't need to be disclosed). Our form provides an optional box for you to ask about past or pending criminal cautions or convictions where the job does indeed fall within an "excepted" category under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975.

Referees

Our application form includes a requirement to give the names of referees and it makes clear that you will only contact the referees if you decide to make the candidate an offer of employment and that you will inform them at that time that you are doing so. All candidates should be told at an early stage that obtaining references forms an essential part of the recruitment verification process and this should also be covered in your privacy notice for job applicants.