A hairdresser has been told she cannot advertise for a ‘junior stylist’ because it would be ageist.
Michelle Hilling, the boss of the U hairdressing salon in Newcastle, wanted to place the advert with Jobcentre Plus but was told by a member of staff that she was not allowed to.
Hilling needed another member of staff and wanted someone who was nearly qualified but still in training. She felt that using the term ‘junior’ would attract the right applicant.
She told the Sun: “It doesn’t matter what age they are. I’ve had a 45-year-old junior stylist before. The term has been used for years in hairdressing and is widely known in the industry.
“People would know you didn’t have to be a teenager to be a junior stylist – it just refers to your level of qualification.
“The lady [at the Jobcentre] told me I couldn’t use that term because it discriminated against old people.”
She added: “The Jobcentre shouldn’t be interfering in terminology that has been used for years without discriminating against anyone.
“Political correctness comes over common sense nowadays.”
But the Department of Work and Pensions has defended the decision and said it was necessary to prevent Hilling falling foul of the Employment Equality Regulations, which made it illegal to discriminate against recruits on the grounds of age.
A spokesman said: “Our advisers will help employers get as many applicants for their jobs as possible.
“Some people may be put off applying if they think a job is only aimed at young people, so we’ll advise on wording adverts to help businesses get the best person for them.”
Last week, employment lawyers warned a decision by the clothing company Abercrombie & Fitch to advertise for “cool and good looking people” could leave the company open to tribunal claims.