Companies must respond to unsuccessful applicants

Employers will have to respond to requests from unsuccessful job applicants
on why they were rejected following the publication of the Information
Commission’s code on selection and recruitment.

This is the view of employment lawyer Anne Coles from Fox Williams, who
claims that if employers don’t respond to these requests the applicant can ask
the Information Commission to carry out an assessment of the employers’
information handling.

Applicants will also be able to apply to court to have inaccurate
information corrected and for compensation where damage or distress have been
caused.

Coles thinks the code, which advises employers on responsibilities
concerning handling personal data during the recruitment process, goes further
than the Data Protection Act 1998 requires.

"From the day the decision to recruit is made, until six months after
the final selection, employers will have to deal with requests from
disappointed applicants wanting to find out why they were rejected," said
Coles.

David Clancy, strategic policy officer for the Information Commission,
confirmed that job applicants have a right to see any information recorded
about them by an employer.

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