Cheshire Constabulary Reviews Recruitment Process Following Employment Tribunal Judgement
Cheshire Constabulary has fully reviewed its Police Constable recruitment process after an employment tribunal ruled against the force in a case brought by 25-year-old Matthew Furlong on the grounds of sexual orientation, race and sex.
The case related to the 2017/18 police officer recruitment process and the Constabulary’s interpretation of the Equality Act 2010. It was in this particular recruitment process that, for the first time, measures were applied to the final stages of the process under section 159 (positive action in recruitment), with the interview process leading to a pass/fail outcome at interview rather than the scoring mechanism previously used.
The force treated all candidates who passed the interview process (the final stage of a multi-staged recruitment process) of equal merit. In this case the intake was oversubscribed, and a number of criteria were applied. Candidates who met one or more of these criteria were offered places first.
The tribunal found that the force had discriminated against Mr Furlong as it had unlawfully treated candidates with protected characteristics more favourably, and did not consider that the candidates who passed interview could all have been of equal merit.
Deputy Chief Constable, Julie Cooke said: “We have reflected on our interpretation of the Act and thoroughly reviewed our practices to ensure that we comply with it.
“We accept the findings of the tribunal and have looked very carefully at our entire recruitment practice. Action has been taken to change some of our processes and take account of the hearing’s result. It is important for us, and for candidates, that the recruitment process is fair and transparent and that all candidates are treated in a fair and consistent manner.
“However, I would like to stress that these processes were put in place with the best of intentions to attract candidates from diverse communities, and at no time were the standards of our recruits reduced.”
The interview process now follows the College of Policing scoring guidelines and is based on the four values of the Competency & Values Framework (CVF) and is no longer based on a pass or fail.
The Constabulary’s recruitment process now applies positive action where there is a tie-breaker situation and two candidates are of equal merit and score the same at interview. This is not applied in volume recruitment processes.
Matthew has since accepted an offer of a job with the Constabulary and will be joining the organisation as a student officer in September.
DCC Cooke added: “We have a public-sector equality duty to take action to address underrepresentation, which continues to be a challenge in Cheshire. We will take positive action to achieve a workforce that truly represents our communities in accordance with the Equality Act.”
More information on jobs with Cheshire Constabulary and the recruitment process can be found on our website at www.cheshire.police.uk .