Considering hiring one of our user groups but are unsure of the laws? Read our complete guide to make sure you leave no stone unturned.

If this is your first time hiring a person who is often discriminated against, such as a homeless person, it is good that you are double-checking any rights, regulations or responsibilities. Usually there is no difference in the legality of employing any of our user groups, but you may have to take some extra steps.

Additionally, there is often extra help in attracting, hiring and employing these user groups. To read about what extra help you could receive, head over to our funding guide.

Here is our rights and regulations guide, which we have tailored to each of the user groups:


There are no laws or regulations inhibiting your ability to recruit one of the 21,000 personnel who leave the military every year.


Luckily, there are no strict barriers to employing the formerly incarcerated and you can ask a candidate if they have any criminal convictions. However, there is currently a big movement to end employers asking for criminal conviction information, called Ban the Box.

Returning Parents

Hiring a returning parent follows the same rights and regulations as any regular employee. However, you should know that employees have the right to take 26 weeks ‘Ordinary Maternity Leave’ and have to take at least 2 weeks off work after the birth.

Older Workers

It is unlawful to discriminate against candidates according to their age, except where it is objectively justified. For example, if you can justify that the role is no longer possible after a certain age.

Homeless People

Research found that 40% of employers believed it was illegal to hire homeless people – this is completely false. Homeless people hold the same employment rights as a regular candidate.

Although, the government and relevant charities encourage employers to instil a company culture that allows their staff to be open about their financial situation. This ensures that the employee finds assistance before their situation deteriorates.

NEET Candidates

There are no laws, rights or regulations surrounding employing NEET candidates that do not already apply to hiring workers in the UK.

Redundant Workers

Workers who have been made redundant are not in any special category of employment candidates. However, there are some rules around re-hiring someone you made redundant. This is totally legal, but you must prove that the redundancy was genuine and necessary at the time to avoid claims of unfair dismissal by anyone you made redundant but did not rehire.

Further Equality & Hiring Advice

Although there are no legal barriers to employing any of our user groups, there are a number of things that charities and the government encourage employers to do. For those who have gone through a difficult period or are in the midst of a significant life transition it may be beneficial to the company and the employee to offer less strict employment terms.

It is also important to note that the 2010 equality act protects many of the groups listed here from discrimination in the workplace. Which means that it is illegal to not hire somebody on the grounds of a protected characteristic such as age or gender.

We have created guides for just that situation, including information and support surrounding offering remote work and flexible hours.

Two young people looking at a form

Join the Refreshing a Career family

View Directory
Free, Basic and Premium listings available