HR Terminology Nepotism

Complygate has put together a complete list of key HR terms, phrases, acronyms and jargon to assist HR professionals in navigating the extensive, ever-growing HR terminology. We would like to encourage you to read, share and make use of this terminology collection. If you have any suggestions of terms or keywords we have missed, please contact us and we will include them in our next update.

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What is nepotism?

Nepotism is when a person is in a powerful position within a company that can use their position in the favour of their friends or family. Nepotism can happen where instead of going through the normal and proper procedures of getting a new job or promotion, a person gets this because of bias.

Example of Nepotism:

An example of nepotism is wherein a scenario a higher member like a manager hires a family member into the company. This family member can be a son/ daughter, a cousin, sister or brother etc. Despite the fact that they may not be qualified or have the right amount of experience they will still claim the job position. This then in the workplace creates a family and friends favouritism within the company.

Reasons nepotism happens in the workplace:


  • A higher job position like managers.
  • A close relationship with a director of the business or manager etc.

It has been questioned whether nepotism is illegal or not. The answer is no, under the Employment law legislation there are no implications that appear in it. However, there can be some consequences within a business for discriminating against other workers in the workplace.

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