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Job advert requiring female takeaway staff was not discriminatory

Job advert asking for female takeaway staff was not discriminatory
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Peninsula Team, Peninsula Team

(Last updated )

Whilst the job advert in the case of Ramos v Lady Coco Ltd t/a Shamela’s Fresh Hot and Cold Food was found not to be discriminatory on these facts, it shows the importance for businesses of ensuring their job adverts are appropriate.  

 The claimant, who lived in London, saw an online job advert which stated that they were looking for female staff to work for them in their Chinese restaurant in Glasgow. The claimant did not apply for the job or attempt to contact the restaurant. Neither did he investigate moving to Glasgow or apply for other jobs within Scotland that might have indicated a desire to relocate. Instead, he bought a claim for sex discrimination.

In examining this case, the Employment Tribunal (ET) looked closely at the motivations of the claimant, to ascertain whether or not he had a genuine desire to move to Scotland and take on this job. The ET found that the claimant could have contacted the restaurant to enquire about the role, and given that the advert also referred to “he/she” it suggested that perhaps the employer would not only have considered female applicants.

There was no evidence that the claimant wanted to upheave his life and relocate. Under questioning, the claimant said that the advert had referred to a ‘beautiful park’ and for that reason alone he wanted to take on the role and move hundreds of miles. This was rejected by the ET, who were unconvinced by his arguments. The ET stated that they believed that the claimant was using the tribunal process to seek money from the respondent.

To claim unlawful discrimination, there must be less favourable treatment, however, in this case the ET found that as the claimant had no genuine intention of applying for the role, there was no less favourable treatment. Furthermore, the ET found that the claimant was evasive, lacked credibility and had no desire to fill the vacancy in question.

The claim was therefore ill founded, and it was dismissed. A preparation time order was subsequently made which ordered the claimant to pay the respondent £697 because he acted vexatiously and unreasonably in bringing a claim which had no reasonable prospects of success.

This case is a useful reminder that for a claim of discrimination, there must be less favourable treatment. But it is also valuable for employers to pay close attention to their job adverts to ensure that the content is appropriate and not open to the possibility of such claims.

 

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