Pubs warned over sexist recruitment advertising

By Mike Berry

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Advertising Discrimination

Pubs warned over sexist recruitment advertising
Licensees who advertise for a barman or waitress could fall foul of equality law and face prosecution, according to new guidance.

Anyone advertising for someone of a specific sex, age or nationality could be breaking the law, according to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

The commission said it had received more than 100 complaints about allegedly discriminatory advertisements revealing that many businesses are breaching laws designed to allow fair and open access to jobs and services – often without realising it.

As a result, the equality watchdog has published a series of short guides and checklists​ for those who place and publish adverts to help them advertise in line with legislation.


The watchdog also warns that using such phrases as "young and dynamic" or "mature person" in a job advert could risk breaching age discrimination laws. Asking for any physical characteristics, including height and strength, could also be illegal because it could be seen to discriminate against women and disabled people.

The EHRC advice on how to place advertisements to comply with the Equality Act 2010 says that advertisers should "avoid job titles that imply a job may be done by men or women only". They should not seek to employ a "handyman" or a "barmaid" but should advertise instead for a "maintenance worker" or a "bartender".

Rebecca Hilsenrath, chief executive of the EHRC, said: "It is important that everyone has a fair shot at the job they want. Thousands of people may be losing out through misunderstanding and discrimination. We risk squandering talent and hampering economic growth if we don't dispel widespread misunderstanding of the law."

The guides also explain that the Equality Act applies to anyone who creates and places an advert and those who publish it in print, online or in local shops.

Related topics Legislation Training

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