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Discriminatory job advertisements – New Guidance from the Equality and Human Rights Commission

Over the last year the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) received over 100 complaints in respect of job and services advertisements appearing to discriminate against persons with ‘protected characteristics’ including on their age, race, sexual orientation, disability and sex.

New guidance has been released by EHRC for employers and employment agencies publishing adverts for job opportunities, in addition for those advertising goods, facilities and services. It reiterates that under the Equality Act 2010 individuals should not be prevented from acquiring fair opportunities to work or to enjoy facilities and services based on any of the protected characteristics.

Discriminatory job advertisements would be considered unlawful under the Equality Act 2010 and would result in liability arising for both the organisation placing the advertisements and for those producing the advertisement. The following job advertisement examples were received by the EHRC in the last year and were considered to be  discriminatory:

Monica Atwal

Managing Partner

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+44 118 960 4605

New guidance has been released by EHRC for employers and employment agencies publishing adverts for job opportunities

  • An advertisement for a “Saturday boy” to work in a garage
  • An advertisement for television extra applicants featuring in a gay pride story to be “homosexual”

In both of these examples the protected characteristics specified were not necessary for the particular role, or rather the occupational requirement. Where there is such an occupational requirement it is essential that the employer ensure that the imposition of the requirement is objectively justifiable, or otherwise fall foul of the Equality Rights Act.

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Disclaimer

This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

Monica Atwal

Managing Partner

View profile

+44 118 960 4605

About this article

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