Can an employer use an automated process in making shortlisting decisions?

Section 12 of the Data Protection Act 1998 provides that the use of automated processing as the sole means of making recruitment decisions is restricted if the decision-making evaluates matters such as the job applicant's work performance, conduct or reliability. If an employer uses an automated method as the sole basis for shortlisting, it must notify the applicant as soon as reasonably practical that the decision was taken on this basis. The applicant then has 21 days to ask the employer to reconsider any adverse decision made about him or her. Any such representations from the applicant should be taken into account before the final decision is made.