Discrimination in job adverts
There are rules around posting job adverts (mostly based around best practice) to attract candidates. (Discrimination in Job Adverts). Please ensure you don’t fall foul of discrimination laws. This is a tricky legal area and one which has many grey areas – there isn’t a list of banned words or phrases which you can’t use in job adverts so you have to use your discretion to work out whether a job is discriminatory on the grounds of race, disability, sex or age.
Avoiding sexual discrimination
As much as you might want to balance up your gender heavy department with a member of the opposite sex, this is strictly forbidden to ask for within a job advert. There are certain rules where there is a genuine occupational need for an employee to be of a certain gender, such as within single sex institutions like hospitals and prisons. Your are never allowed to consider that hiring one gender may provide a benefit in terms of physical performance, unless that performance is of a thematic nature (such as the need for a male to play Father Christmas). The job title you use should therefore never be gender specific – “waitress, waiter, barman, manageress” are terms that fall foul of the law.
Avoiding racial discrimination
Racial discrimination is taken just as seriously as gender discrimination and many of the same principles apply. However there are again some situations where being of a certain race can be seen as a genuine occupational qualification. There are instances that an employer needs to take positive action to encourage people from a certain ethnic group to apply for a job or training because they are underrepresented in the organisation or at certain job levels. This is regularly seen within Police Force recruitment campaigns where they try and match the ethnicity of their employees with local populations. Even where language is an important part of the role you must state that someone must be able to converse in the language rather than being from a particular country, for example ‘Italian speaking’ rather than ‘an Italian’.
Avoiding age discrimination
Age discrimination is one of the biggest changes that most employers will have to go through in order to comply with all discrimination regulations. Even in a redundancy situation you could fall foul of this law The rules now not only cover stipulating upper or lower age limits for job applicants, but also terms such as “young, youthful, experienced or ‘mature’. are terms that could be seen as excluding someone from applying for a role based on their age. Even asking for a certain level of experience from candidates could be deemed as discriminating against someone who hasn’t had the opportunity to gain that experience as they are too young. There are plenty of ways of rephrasing your job advert, such as asking for candidates who have demonstrated a certain task. Putting a number of years on how long they have taken to achieve that task is definitely out of the question, As is the age old policy of selection for redundancy (Last in – First out).
Avoiding disability discrimination
It’s important for all businesses to ensure disabled candidates have as many opportunities to join their company as anybody else. This covers job adverts as well as the rest of the recruitment process, such as making your offices wheelchair accessible for job interviews. There is no reason that candidates must hold a driving licence if they are not going to be expected to do any driving for the job. There is obviously some physical activity that is crucial to some positions in the hotel and catering sectors, but you must make sure this is a genuine necessity for the role rather than it would be nice to have.
Dealing with discriminatory adverts
It’s not only the person who wrote the advert that gets the blame; it’s also the person who publishes it. If you’re providing a job advert to be placed online or in any other media, it’s likely that there will be a checking system to ensure the regulations are adhered to.
– Job adverts that specifically make it clear that they only want to hear from candidates who match a certain criteria, therefore excluding others because of their gender, race, age or disability.
– Just because you haven’t stated that you don’t want to hear from a certain group of people, it doesn’t mean that your job advert isn’t discriminating against them. By setting criteria that makes it impossible for a certain group to apply, you’re indirectly excluding them from the recruitment process and unless you can offer a justifiable reason behind you criteria, you could be contravening the rules.
If your job advert is found to go against the rules we will get in touch as soon as possible to ask you to make the necessary changes. We will give you advice on wording your advert if you ask us. However, as we can’t feasibly go through every job that gets posted, it’s up to you to do everything you can to make sure you don’t get a call from the authorities. Before you post your job advert, make sure you go through it with a fine-tooth comb to ensure there is nothing that could get you in trouble. Get someone else to check the advert and if anything looks even the slightest bit discriminating, then consider ways to rephrase it.
If we come across an advert that is discriminatory and we have brought this to your attention, we will expect you to take the necessary steps to correct it. If you have not taken these steps within 24 Hrs of us notifying you we reserve the right to remove your advert from our site without liability and with no entitlement to a refund. Companies who persistently post discriminatory adverts may be removed from our site. In this event we will not allow you to re-register until you have given us assurances in writing that you will do all that can be reasonably expected of you to ensure that future adverts will not fall foul of the rules. We may even ask you for a deposit of £ 1,000.00. before we allow you to post further adverts.
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