Employees have right to challenge psychometric testing

Companies
using automatic psychometric testing to look for potential employees could fall
foul of regulations in the Data Protection Act.

Margaret
Manwaring, compliance manager at the Information Commission, told Personnel
Today that legal technicalities in the act mean employees should have a right
of appeal against electronic decision-making that decided they were unsuitable
job candidates.

This
would mean employers would have to tell candidates the process was automated
and provide them with an alternative way to make an appeal.

Manwaring
commented, “Candidates should be warned that the decision will be taken
automatically and given 21 days to appeal for the decision to be reconsidered.

 “The person making the decision can still
have the power to reject them if they have grounds.”

These
regulations apply to people applying for jobs or those already in jobs being
selected for promotion.

Employees
also have a right to see the decision-making process involved in any automated
decision that has affected them.

Companies
failing to comply with the DPA and the code could face legal action from
employees or the data protection commissioner.

Employers
must also ensure any psychometric tests they use do not discriminate against
employees.

For
instance, providing tests in only English would discriminate against
non-English speaking applicants.

The
Data Protection Commission changed its name to the Information Commission in
January.

www.dataprotection.org.uk

By
Richard Staines

 

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