Discriminatory advert for ‘female, white non-Muslim driver’ leads to council apology

Northamptonshire County Council has apologised after it demanded a “female, white and non-Muslim” taxi driver in a contract.

A tender was issued by the council for private firms to bid for the contract, which involved transporting a vulnerable child to and from school, reports the Northampstonshire Chronicle & Echo.

The advert stated: “The contractor must provide the escort. Please note that the escort must be female, white and non-Muslim.”

This form of positive discrimination is illegal – employers can only, in certain circumstances, use ‘positive action’, which helps or encourages a candidate from a particular group to apply.

A spokeswoman for the council said a “full-scale review” had been launched.

“We apologise unreservedly for this error of judgement which resulted from trying to address the specific needs of an individual child,” she said. “We’re confident on the basis of our initial investigations that there was no malicious or discriminatory intent.

“The council takes equalities very seriously and we will not tolerate any practices in this organisation which discriminate against any group or community,” the spokeswoman added.


What positive action is permitted under the current discrimination legislation?

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