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New Guidelines published on discriminatory adverts and recruitment terminology

The Equality & Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has published a series of short guides to help people who place advertisements to comply with their legal obligations under the Equality Act 2010

The legal position has not changed and any advert which indicates that a job, product or service is restricted to certain people, because of a protected characteristic is likely to be unlawful, unless it can be justified.

This guide has been published to serve as a reminder and it is something those responsible for placing recruitment adverts should remind themselves of.

Rebecca Hilsenrath, Chief Executive of the EHRC, said “The high volume of complaints we receive each year shows employers and service providers have sometimes opened themselves to potentially costly legal action. This is usually as a result of confusion about what is and isn’t permitted by equality legislation. This clear and brief guidance answers the questions people often ask us and should help keep everybody on the right side of the law.”

Complaints to the EHRC in the last year have included:

  • Adverts for a “Saturday boy” and a “part-time shot girl”.
  • An advert stating that those aged over 45 need not apply or that an advertised salsa class was “not suitable for people over 60”.
  • An advert to casting agencies asking them to supply only homosexual applicants to work as extras in a TV programme featuring a Gay Pride story.
  • A hotel advertising that it would not offer accommodation to disabled people.

Amanda Finn, partner at Gullands comments: “Sadly this is still very common. I have myself recently seen an advert in the window of a local café advertising for a ‘bright , young, Saturday person’. I popped in and spoke to the owner and they removed it.

Amanda Finn can be contacted at