France has introduced a new law, intended to encourage increased diversity in hiring, which requires employers to strip identifying information from the resumes of prospective employees.
The Equal Opportunities Bill requires companies with 50 or more employees to preserve the anonymity of job candidates. Human resources personnel and recruitment companies must delete identifying information from candidates’ resumes, files and letters, including names, addresses, gender, age and ethnicity, before passing them on to the department or manager who will consider them. Large French companies are implementing computer software to meet the requirements of the Bill.
France is the first jurisdiction to introduce this kind of law, and Canada has yet to consider similar legislation. However, it is a useful reminder to Canadian employers that they should continue to exercise caution with respect to the personal information of job applicants as collection and use of this information raises important employment, privacy, and human rights issues.