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Are your job ads breaching the Human Rights Act?

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HC Online | 04 Nov 2014, 08:22 AM Agree 0
Choose your wording carefully when drafting your next job advertisement or you could potentially be in breach of the Human Rights Act.
  • Layla | 04 Nov 2014, 12:41 PM Agree 0
    Age discrimination is rife in the HR field. It is scary to think the HR professionals are doing the recruiting and yet they discriminate against one of their own. I was once even told by a recuitment agency that someone in their 40's would be better off looking to change careers as HR is really a younger field. Believe it or not that came from a very reputable agency.
    At a time when the government is looking to keep people in the workforce longer it is abhorrent to think we would do this to another human being. Have we taken the Human out of Human Resources?
  • Mark | 04 Nov 2014, 01:06 PM Agree 0
    100% agree with you Layla. It is disgusting that the very custodians of employment legislation are the biggest transgressors who blatantly abuse their positions to prejudice mature aged workers - the "Human" went out of HR a long time ago - good luck finding meaningful work in your profession if you are over 50!! What a joke!
  • Rob | 04 Nov 2014, 05:27 PM Agree 0
    I was denied a job today with a major electrical manufacturer. Following the interview, the agent rang me and said they decided not to use me because of my age. I was shocked and told the agent that was not allowed under the law. I was then told well the real reason was because my experience wasn't current, (whatever that is supposed to mean) and that my age was secondary. I am only 53! I can't get work and I am about to lose my house....I have been in contact with the Australian human rights board, but I don't believe I will get any help there...I would shoot myself, but I don't have life insurance...I've never been on the dole I have to...I feel so humiliated.
  • Louise | 05 Nov 2014, 08:58 AM Agree 0
    Don't make the mistake of confusing the behaviours of those within the recruitment industry (require no qualifications and often have nothing other than glossy presentation and great sales skills) to HR practitioners who are qualified, work across a number of industries and who hold the same views as most when it comes to discrimination. But what also needs to be highlighted is that those making the decisions on final hire are line managers and 'the business'. The discrimination often starts there unfortunately with recruiters and HR practitioners doing their upmost to educate and advise 'the business' as to what is acceptable with their guidance often falling on deaf ears...
  • Mark | 05 Nov 2014, 12:20 PM Agree 0
    Rob, I'm feeling your pain, same boat. approx. 400 applications no takers. Tough as it is may I offer you this. "It'll be OK in the end, if it's not OK it's not the end" Just hang tough mate - think outside the square - hey at 53 I too am looking at contract gardening work.

    Louise, with 25 years of senior HR and WHS experience, I was told via my agent that a 26yo HRM couldn't imagine an older man taking instruction from a younger woman and then - and this is gold - she said she could not imagine herself managing someone who knew more than her - this is not the first time younger people have declined me because of my age, so please don't pass the buck to the hiring managers.......The expressions "cultural fit" and 'team balance" have become euphemisms for "too old"
  • Rosie | 05 Nov 2014, 12:46 PM Agree 0
    How does this impact roles for vacancies where you want to specifically target school leavers and entry level candidates without any experience - such as traineeships or apprenticeships??
    There are heaps of ads like "Office Junior" or "Junior Factoryhands" - are these in breach????
    Equally does an advert for "Senior Technician" discriminate against younger, but qualified candidates without decades of industry experience??
  • Perry | 06 Nov 2014, 05:04 PM Agree 0
    The HR community is not guilt-free in the discrimination against older people. Some of our biggest resources industry businesses see the ideal HR employee as early-mid 30s and, dare I say it, female.
  • Dobbie | 07 Nov 2014, 01:37 PM Agree 0
    Discriminatory job ads are easy to find, just search on keyword "young" on Seek (but don't include NSW because there's a place called Young!)

    Here's a beauty from Seek today for Senior Software Sales Consultant , but the first bulletin point in the listing view says

    "Young, hungry, keen to learn and earn big dollars ?"

    The word "young" is actually bold!

    I took a screen shot for posterity ;)
  • Ronnie | 06 Feb 2015, 12:29 PM Agree 0
    I am 68 next month and was offered this position when I was 66 yrs old. I had been out of work for 9 months though. I am lucky with my company in that they want skills and don't care about age. I agree with everyone's comments in different areas. Young people don't like directing someone older who may be more experienced however you are at the mercy of the company, they want what they want and the HR practitioner has to do what they are told too and find a way to comply. I too have been a victim of all of the above, as you can imagine, 53 is a young to me. This applies to everything though with discrimination, people will always find a way around it, you can only hope that over time people come to accept that older people are valuable. Some of us though need to ensure we don't become grumpy and snarly in older age. I am lucky I work for a great company and the only problem is I spend a lot of time counselling because people can talk to me about issues more easily apparently because of my age. You can't win. I also spend a lot of money on face cream :)
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