[python-uk] Python Developers - ReportLab, Wimbledon, London

Russel Winder russel at winder.org.uk
Tue Dec 11 18:11:12 CET 2012

On Tue, 2012-12-11 at 11:38 +0000, Andy Robinson wrote:
> For all employers out there....  my HR guru goes to all the seminars
> on employment law, and is very current on what we can and cannot do.
> She has told me that our latest round of ads are wrong because
> explicitly asking for SMART people is discriminatory against THICK
> people.   You can ask about skills, but not about innate
> characteristics like age or sex (which we all know), and apparently,
> now, brains.
> Anyone else heard this kind of total bollocks lately?  ;-)

Whilst I appreciate your irritation, and that of many of the responders,
to this reaction of HR. The situation is actually far more subtle than
this simple point about "discrimination". Yes there are stupidities of
political correctness around and public bodies tend to be the worst

However, the real drive of the diversity legislation is to try and get
employers to focus on the goals and objectives of the job and not on the
traditional CV properties of the candidate: can this person do the job,
not has this person got a 2.1 in computer science. In particular, the
underlying thrust of the legislation not only tries to stop people
discriminating in traditional ways, but also in more subtle ways. For
example, X left the job so Y must be a clone of X to be able to do the
job. A surprisingly common way of getting new people in. 

This is a difficult issue in reality, and whilst the real stupidities
rightly lead to ridicule, it is the good employers that look beyond
these and make use of the opportunities of the legislation, which
actually allow lots of freedoms to circumvent traditional employment

Dr Russel Winder      t: +44 20 7585 2200   voip: sip:russel.winder at ekiga.net
41 Buckmaster Road    m: +44 7770 465 077   xmpp: russel at winder.org.uk
London SW11 1EN, UK   w: www.russel.org.uk  skype: russel_winder
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