In the UK, can a company deny explaining the reason why a prospective candidate was rejected, just because it allegedly uses a proprietary system to vet job seekers?

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    The standard for legal reasons is not to give a reason its the same with formal references – Neuromancer Mar 25 '17 at 21:10
  • What exactly will you do with the information that they give you? They don't want to hire you, getting a court order to force them (assuming that you go through the legal grind and win) is not as good an idea as it sounds to some sue-friendly people. :P – Masked Man Mar 26 '17 at 8:52
  • I'll just add that if bringing them to court, you should not expect that to be a highlight in further job interviews, nor should you expect that the threat of suing them will get them to change their minds and hire you. Remember that a lot of industries are small well-informed network: it's very hard to correct a bad reputation in an industry. – ChrisR Mar 26 '17 at 16:29

The company doesn't owe you any explanation whatsoever why it is rejecting you. If you suspect they are rejecting you because of illegal discrimination, you could take them to court - but proving that would be almost impossible unless the company acts totally stupid.

In court they can't refuse to tell why you were not hired. Your risk is that the interviewer might say "Mr. Ajram had spinach between his teeth from lunch, which made me sick, so I didn't hire him". Which would be a perfectly legal reason not to hire you, and would mean that you lose the case probably with substantial cost.

Others noted that you can ask the company to provide all the information they stored about you. They have no obligation to store anything about you. They might even be allowed to respond "we received your request, we deleted all information about you except a note 'interviewer recommended not to hire', and this note is all the information we have stored about you".

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  • So, unless someone within the company admits it, the whole is pointless? If taken to court, could it still deny any explanation due to the same reason? – M. Ajram Mar 25 '17 at 20:17
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    @M.Ajram What they have to say in court is more of a legal question. Find a lawyer or try law.stackexchange.com – Brandin Mar 25 '17 at 20:21

Under the Data Protection Act, you can request access to e.g. interview notes (e.g. see https://www.theguardian.com/careers/careers-blog/what-data-employers-hold-on-you-philip-landau). For government related employers like BBC, GDS it should be easy to get these data. For private sector employers I'd guess your mileage will vary.

However, I don't think you can force the company to give a reason for the rejection (although I'm not a lawyer).

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    It's not as easy as you may think. I am not a lawyer, but if, for example, interview notes are taken in a notebook and not subject to a "well structured" filing system, you may be out of luck. – Laconic Droid Mar 25 '17 at 21:52
  • Or if the interviewer took no notes, or destroyed them. You have the right to know what information they have stored about you. Which may be nothing. – gnasher729 Mar 26 '17 at 0:04
  • @LaconicDroid: It is apparently in fact easy for government related employers like BBC, GDS because they care a lot about compliance. I know someone who got their interview notes from these companies. I agree re: private employer though. – user9641 Mar 26 '17 at 7:31
  • Getting all the information they have about you shouldn't be a problem for any company. However, there might just be no interview notes. They are not required to keep such notes, quite the contrary. – gnasher729 Mar 26 '17 at 22:45

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