An employer has come under fire from the Equal Opportunities Commission
after specifying in a job advert that a role was suitable for someone with
‘minimal domestic commitments’.
The advert, published in Press Gazette, was for a job as a part-time writer at
Flavour, a trade magazine for the bar and cocktail industry.
Caroline Slocock, chief executive of the EOC, said the advert’s wording
could lay Flavour publisher, Quantum Business Media, open to a claim of
indirect sex discrimination, as well as reducing the available pool of
"Women still take on the lion’s share of work around the home which
means that they will be less likely to be considered for the job. An employer
which makes assumptions about the impact of domestic commitments on someone’s
ability to do a job is shooting itself in the foot," she said.
David Gibson, partner at law firm Dickinson Dees, said employers should be
aware that the provisions of sex discrimination legislation apply from the very
first point of contact.
But Flavour publisher Paul McFadyen defended the advert: "The role is
for a writer-at-large, which requires someone prepared to work extremely
flexible hours. We just wanted to make it clear that the role would suit
someone who was prepared to commit a fair amount of free time and to work