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I am a 37 year old woman, looking to start a new career (London, UK).

In interviews, or filling in personal details form, am I obliged to give info about:

  • my marital status
  • my personal plans eg children etc

If so, what would be a diplomatic and professional manner to say I am not comfortable discussing? I think it would affect whether I got the job or not, and would be difficult to prove.

  • Is this important for your job? I.e. traveling with long times away from London, etc. – Edgar Apr 8 '18 at 8:51
  • Good point. Not really, I think an issue perhaps more in terms of we spend all this time trying a 37 year old entry level candidate, when she might take maternity leave soon. – Sally101 Apr 8 '18 at 12:30
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It is illegal for recruiters to ask these questions as they can discriminate.

https://www.gov.uk/employer-preventing-discrimination/recruitment

http://m.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=6087

You should not be asked these questions in adverts or interviews, however if you are it does put you in a difficult position as informing them that the questions are discriminatory may then cause them to reject your application on some other pretext.

EDIT: You can make a claim through employment tribunal for discrimination. There are no fees for making a claim. It is better if there is recorded evidence in writing, audio or witnesses.

https://www.gov.uk/employment-tribunals

  • So, what should the OP do? Answer those questions at the interview or not? – scaaahu Apr 8 '18 at 9:47
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    Updated answer, but in terms of what to do its very context sensitive. Legally and morally speaking it would be not answering those questions and informing the company it's discriminatory and illegal, however if that puts a potential job at risk OP may consider that answering the question is the better choice. – Sharpish Apr 8 '18 at 10:07
  • The question is How much personal information should I give potential employers? You have not answered it yet. – scaaahu Apr 8 '18 at 10:13
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    For "future plans" you say what you think they want to hear. For "marital status", I suppose you tell them what they want to hear. "We fired Sally because she didn't tell the truth to an illegal question" won't go down well with any tribunal if it comes to that. – gnasher729 Apr 8 '18 at 10:30
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    FWIW: Your first link to the UK government website says quite literally "doing these things is illegal". You can submit comments, so I submitted one that they should tell employees what to do if the employer acts illegally. Maybe it helps, most likely not. In Germany, the rule is simple: You are allowed to lie to any illegal question, and any such lies can never be held against you. If you say "I don't have children and unfortunately cannot have children" while three kids are waiting for you outside and you are six month pregnant with twins, then the employer can do nothing. – gnasher729 Apr 9 '18 at 10:57

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