Candidates may object to psychometric testing

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

Compliance
manager at the Information Commission, Margaret Manwaring, told Personnel Today
that legal technicalities in the Act mean staff would have the right of appeal
against electronic means of deciding they were unsuitable job candidates.

This
means employers would have to tell candidates the process was automated and
provide them with an alternative way to make an appeal. Manwaring said,
“Candidates should be warned that the decision will be taken automatically and
given 21 days to appeal for that decision to be reconsidered. The
decision-maker still has the power to reject them if they have grounds.”

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

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

Companies
failing to comply with the Act and the code could face legal action from
employees or the Data Protection Commissioner.

Employers
must also ensure that any psychometric tests they use does not discriminate
against staff. Providing tests only in English, for instance, would
discriminate against non-English speaking applicants.

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

http://www.dataprotection.org.uk/

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