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Is this legal?

(8 Posts)
coolma Mon 27-Dec-10 11:32:23

We were interviewing for a part time post the other day and my boss asked all the candidates 'Would this be your only job or are you looking for another one as well?' Is this ok? I'm just curious really.

StillSquiffy Mon 27-Dec-10 11:55:03

Why would it not be legal to ask that? Saying that, my reading of such a question would be 'we need you to be flexible enough to be at our beck and call when we want you, but we only want to pay for the hours we use and not the hours we expect you to be available for' and I would not touch such a role with a bargepole, so your boss may be putting people off the role.

hermioneweasley Mon 27-Dec-10 11:59:02

there's nothing wrong with asking if you have other work commitments

coolma Mon 27-Dec-10 12:21:51

It was just that we hadn't discussed asking that - it seemed to come out of the blue!

fluffles Mon 27-Dec-10 12:34:02

when we interview we have to have 'model answers' for our questions which answers are scored against. so what would his model answer have been? was he wanting somebody with another job too? or somebody with childcare responsibilites? or somebody who just didn't need a full-time wage but didn't have any other commitments or responsibilities?

i don't understand how that can be a valid and scoreable question.

so not illegal as far as i know but not best practice either.

were the hours/days set in the advert?

Mahraih Mon 27-Dec-10 13:24:56

It isn't illegal. I work in recruitment and we ask this sort of thing all the time.

Mostly, we like to know where else candidates are interviewing because it gives us a good picture of:

a) whether they might get an offer tomorrow, which would make things interesting for our recruitment process!

b) if they are primarily interested in the sort of work we do, or if ALL their other interviews are for ... nucleur physics labs. If so, why?

c) if it is a part-time job, whether their 'immediately avaialble and really flexible on days of the week' will suddenly become, 'only available tuesdays and thursdays until 4pm.

As employers it's our responsibility to our company, our employers and also to the eventual person we hire, to make SURE that we know what their expectations are, and that they can do what we need them to, without it creating huge issues for them. We're not trying to trip them up, but it's crap for everyone if they pull out at round 4, or 2 weeks into the job have to rearrange all their hours.

Mahraih Mon 27-Dec-10 13:26:16

Oh, re what fluffles said, we don't have model answers and we don't score quantitavely.

So, if we were interviewing for a part-time job (mon - weds) and the person worked thurs-fri, then that would be fine, we just like to know.

coolma Mon 27-Dec-10 13:31:25

We have equal opportunities interviews with prescribed questions which are then scored. This was an extra question at the end. I guess it was just curiosity on my boss's part. I am not her biggest fan, but she is actually fair about hours and overtime. The post is afternoons only and quite specialised really, so we would be hoping that the person appointed would be happy to cover the job share at times if at all possible.

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