Discriminatory job advertisements

Job advertisements cannot discriminate based on gender. By principle a job advertisements cannot be directed only at women or men. An advertisement can be directed to members of one gender only in exceptional circumstance, if there is a weighty and acceptable reason arising from the nature of the work as to why either a woman or a man is required. For example, a person may be chosen for the role of a dancer or actor if he or she is of the gender that character calls for. Furthermore, the personal nature of an employment relationship would suggest, for example, that either a woman or man might be hired as a personal assistant.

Discrimination in a job advertisement does not give the right to compensation according to the Equality Act.

If you suspect that a job advertisement is in violation of the Equality Act you can contact the Ombudsman for Equality or the occupational safety and health authorities:

  • The Ombudsman for Equality can bring a case regarding discriminatory advertising before the National Non-Discrimination and Equality Tribunal. The Tribunal can forbid the employer from continuing with or repeating the discriminatory advertisement, on pain of fine if required.
  • The occupational safety and health authority can forward the employer for consideration of charges for violating the prohibition of discrimination in the workplace in the Criminal Code.

Others who are responsible for publishing a discriminatory job advertisement can also be under criminal liability based on the general provision regarding discrimination in the Criminal Code.