Advertising jobs - How employers can avoid discrimination

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has published a set of FAQs considering what is lawful when advertising for jobs (… and goods, facilities, services and accommodation). 

For full details see:  http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/sites/default/files/publication_pdf/Advertising%20-%20FAQ.pdf.

A brief summary for employers:

Age

Q. Can you ask an employment agency to advertise for a “young graduate”?

A. Not unless this can be objectively justified. Consider instead describing the necessary requirements, skills, competencies and experience.

Q. Can you advertise for drivers under 55 as they are at less risk of suffering from a heart attack?

A. Not unless this can be objectively justified. Consider instead requiring regular medical checks for all drivers.  

Disability

Q. Can you advertise for an “active person”?

A. Not unless this is a proportionate way of meeting a genuine need to undertake particular tasks. Consider instead explaining the particular tasks, skills and abilities required.

Q. Can you advertise for candidates with a valid driving licence?

A. Only if driving is a genuine requirement of the job. Could the job reasonably be done by a disabled person using public transport and taxis?

Sex

Q. Can you advertise for a male manual labourer?

A. No. Consider describing the skills and abilities required, such as heavy lifting.

Q. Can someone with caring requirements advertise for someone of the same sex?

A. Yes, if this is a proportionate way of meeting a genuine requirement of the job. Consider whether the role involves personal and intimate care which affects privacy and decency.

Race / Nationality

Q. Can you advertise for a Polish worker?

A. No. If the ability to speak Polish is a requirement of the job consider specifying that the worker should be able to speak Polish.

Religion

Q. Can a Catholic school advertise for a Catholic secretary?

A. Not unless being Catholic is necessary to perform the role.

Q. Can a faith based care home advertise for employees of a particular faith?

A. Perhaps, if a carers duties included meeting the residents spiritual needs such as praying with them. If you are advertising for maintenance, reception, cleaners or admin staff then providing spiritual support is unlikely to be part of the role so it is not necessary for employees to be of a particular faith.   

For more information on any of the issues above, give one of our employment experts a call on 0113 201 4900 for a free, initial consultation.

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