An industry body has warned that the new equalities bill, which was recently announced by the government, may result in illegal discrimination against job candidates.
In a recent statement, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) said that misinterpretations of the new legislation could result in the unfair treatment of people seeking employment.
Under the terms of the new bill, employers will be able to appoint people specifically because of their race or gender in cases where candidates are equally well qualified for the position and where doing so would lead to a more balanced workforce.
"The REC is concerned that what is a relatively minor measure could be misinterpreted and bring about illegal discriminatory practice," stated the organisation's chief executive Kevin Green.
He added that the use of professional recruiters who have a greater awareness of potential legal pitfalls may help firms to avoid unlawful discrimination.