Optus has launched an internal investigation after a job advertisement calling for white candidates at one of its Sydney stores was posted online.
The ad was posted on Seek and stated the Neutral Bay outlet was looking for a casual retail consultant, adding that it would prefer "candidates who are Anglo Saxon".
The ad was taken down the following day, but was still widely viewed and has sparked outrage from unions, politicians and on social media.
HRD contacted Optus for comment and Optus vice president human resources, Vaughan Paul, said the company proudly supports diversity and employs staff representing more than 70 nationalities.
“This error is completely unacceptable and a clear breach of our advertising standards and commitment to equal opportunity employment,” said Paul in a statement.
“This incident is unacceptable and does not reflect Optus’ values of diversity and inclusion.
“We have removed the advert, and will be investigating how this occurred with a view to taking disciplinary action against those involve, and offer an unreserved apology.”
According to the Fair Work Act 2009, it is unlawful for employers to discriminate against an employee or prospective employee on the basis of a range of specific protected attributes, including race.
Moreover, CEPU Communications Division National Secretary Greg Rayner said "that the racist job ad was published is an affront".
"Optus leadership should provide a full explanation and cooperate with an independent investigation," he added.
“Workers and the community must have confidence that businesses in Australia are not allowed to get away with blatantly racist hiring practises.
“How did this racist requirement end up in an ad at all? Is it an unspoken rule or understanding that slipped through the cracks? This is extremely concerning and we have to get to the bottom of how this happened. An internal investigation is not enough.”