The name game

The Department for Work and Pensions has been conducting an experiment which involves sending out bogus applications for 1,000 jobs nationwide. In each case it has sent out two applications, with the same qualifications but with a different name. In one case the name sounds British and white; in the other it suggests that the applicant is from a minority ethnic group. Preliminary results suggest that applications from the former group are significantly more likely to secure an offer of an interview. This, says the Equality and Human Rights Commission, should lead to a clause in the new Equality Bill banning the use of names in recruitment processes.