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A prospective employee has applied for a job whilst on maternity leave (from a different employer). The prospective employee has stated on the application form that she cannot start work for 12 months. If she fulfills the essential criteria must I interview her, or do the business needs of the organisation give me the option not to do so, as I need the role filled now? If I do interview and she is successful, must I then interview again to fill the maternity leave period?
You would have to interview her and if she was successful then recruit a temp. Otherwise it would be discrimination.
However, as the employee will lose their SMP when they started a new job, it is unlikely they would accept the role anyway.