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04th March 2011

Lord Sugar urges mothers to be upfront

Laws banning interviewers from asking potential female employees about their children and childcare arrangements are counterproductive, Lord Sugar has claimed.

The star of BBC1's The Apprentice urged women to be upfront at the start of interviews and then concentrate on their talents to avoid a "psychological charade".

Lord Sugar, a Labour peer, claimed during a debate in the House of Lords, that when he has tried to address the issue in the past he has been met with a "knee-jerk reaction" from people who "don't want to hear what I'm saying".

He said: "I believe the employment regulations for women whereby the prospective employer is not able to inquire about the interviewee's status regarding children or childcare or indeed their intention of becoming a parent are counterproductive. Some women may agree with me on this.

"As things stand, regardless of current laws and regulations, interviewers are forced to play out some kind of psychological charade where they know their obligations under law but effectively in some cases make up their mind in advance about the prospects of employing the person sitting in front of them.

"I say women should be forthcoming when being interviewed, declaring their status regarding children and childcare so as to pre-empt the unanswerable questions in the mind of the interviewer and then focus on the most important thing - what skills they can bring to the company and why they should be employed.

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