What does suitability and aptitude mean?

Aptitude/suitability can be a reason that is acceptable according to the Equality Act for choosing a less merited applicant. An aptitude assessment can be based on e.g. tests and interviews, as well as on accounts of how the applicants have performed previous duties. The key point is that the employer must be able to demonstrate that they have truly compared the skills and characteristics of the person who was selected and the person who was not.

When a position is being filled, the employer can focus on the applicants' personal characteristics, such as co-operation skills, diligence, precision, initiative, responsibility, and other similar characteristics. The characteristics to which the employer refers when making their choice must be relevant for the performance of the duties.

To rebut an assumption of discrimination, the employer must be able to prove that the person who was chosen for the position was more suitable for the position than the person who was not chosen, and that this has been the real and acceptable reason for the choice. It is also required that the aptitude assessment has been conducted carefully and that the assessment criteria and the assessment procedure have not been discriminatory on the basis of gender. (KKO 2001:9, 2002:42)