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Recruiting staff? How not to advertise for job vacancies

The following (supposedly genuine) advert has created uproar on social media this week, after being posted online by a recruitment agency.

Secretary

Now…Most HR and employment practitioners will take a sharp intake of breath on reading this advert.

But, leaving aside the legal issues for a moment, the advert may have been merely looking to give an impression of a fun company and great working environment. But from a potential employee’s perspective it doesn’t seem to portray a company that many, if any, women would actually want to work for. In addition to the prospect of unwelcome sexual harassment, it also gives the impression that women are not taken seriously or considered for senior roles.

If you are older, disabled, not overtly glamorous or even not heterosexual - it seems that you would be excluded from consideration for this role and therefore need not apply. The advert also excludes males from applying and while male secretaries are in the minority, there are still many of these in the workplace of today.

In this day and age it is surprising that anyone would post an advert that drives such a large coach and horses straight through the Equality Act of 2010.

This advert may or may not have been placed at the request of the potential employer but recruitment agencies should not discriminate in their advertisement of jobs or selection of candidates for roles even if the customer has requested specific and potentially discriminatory criteria. The recruitment agency would be deemed just as guilty of discrimination by any employment tribunal. It is important to remember that discrimination claims can, and have, been brought by prospective employees as well as current and ex-employees.

If this advert really is genuine, this particular recruitment agency may want to consider training its staff in non-discriminatory practices.

For any further information on the issue of workplace discrimination, get in touch with Jacqueline McDermott or your usual Keystone contact.

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This article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. It should not be used as a substitute for legal advice relating to your particular circumstances. Please note that the law may have changed since the date of this article.

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