What are the main points to look out for when producing a job description?

It is important that the job description accurately sets out the responsibilities of the role, so that appropriate candidates are attracted to apply and to help the employer in identifying the most suitable candidates in the shortlisting and selection process.

The employer should avoid using language that could suggest an intention to discriminate (eg describing the role as a warehouseman or waitress). It should also be aware of the risk of indirect discrimination if requirements are included in the job description that are not necessary to the performance of the role, for example if a job is described as full time when it could be carried out on a part-time or job-share basis.

If the job description is included in the contract, it is contractual and can be changed only in accordance with any provisions made for changing contract terms. The employer is free to decide how the work should be performed and is not in breach of contract if it changes the mode of performance unless the mode of performance was specified in the contract. An employee is entitled to refuse to do any work that clearly falls outside his or her contract terms.