Hundreds of Illegal Sexist Job Advertisements On Government Job Seeking Website


Hundreds of jobs advertisements on the government’s Universal Jobmatch website are in breach of equality laws and the problem extends far beyond the shameful age discrimination featured on the BBC yesterday.

Radio 4 reported on adverts on the website asking for ‘young’ or ‘recent’ graduates, warning this may be illegal under the Equality Act.  It is not just older people however who face discrimination on the website that unemployed people are forced to use by Jobcentres to look for work.  The shocking truth is that there seems to be no control over whether jobs advertised on the site meet equalities legislation.

Over 600 current job vacancies ask for a “handyman”, whilst one employer is looking for a “girl friday”.  Another discriminates against same sex couples by asking for a “guy and girl Friday”.  All of these advertisements are likely to be illegal.  As Citizen’s Advice explain:

“With a few limited exceptions, it’s illegal to publish or broadcast an advert which discriminates because of sex, or which advertises discriminatory services. For example, it is illegal for an employer to advertise for a job using words like ‘craftsman’ or ‘handyman’, as this might give the impression that the job is only open to men.”

Significantly, it may not just be the employers posting these vacancies who are breaking the law.  As providers of an “employment service”, the DWP themselves could be acting illegally for publishing these advertisements.

This doesn’t seem to bother anyone at the department, who have already brushed off the BBCs claims saying they don’t think phrases such as ‘recent graduate’ are discriminatory.  This is despite the government’s own recruitment guidance to employers clearly stating: “Only use phrases like ‘recent graduate’ or ‘highly experienced’ when these are actual requirements of the job. This could discriminate against younger or older people who might not have had the opportunity to get certain qualifications.”

Not for the first time the DWP are treating laws that don’t suit them with contempt.  Perhaps of equal concern is that so many employers don’t yet seem to have caught up with rules that were first introduced as part of the Sex Discrimination Act in 1975.  But of course employers can do no wrong in the eyes of Iain Duncan Smith.  That’s why he largely left them to their own devices as they cluttered up Universal Jobmatch with scam, spam and spoof vacancies.

Universal Jobmatch has been a fucking shambles ever since it was launched at huge cost back in 2011.  Even the job adverts that actually manage to stay within the law are often duplicates, flaky self-employment ‘opportunities’ or employment agencies touting for CVs so they can spam people for the rest of their lives.  With no safety information and clearly no checks on whether employers posting jobs to the site are genuine, then unemployed people are at real risk if they use Universal Jobmatch.  But use it they must, on Jobcentre computers at least.  Otherwise they face their benefits being sanctioned

If you are required to sign up to Universal Jobmatch you still do not have to tick the box giving the DWP access to your account and can untick the box giving them permission to send you emails.  You should only be forced to use the website in Jobcentres.  For tips on how to avoind being pressurised by Jobcentre busy-bodies visit the Refuted website.  To save time when using the site you can also download Universal Automation.

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18 responses to “Hundreds of Illegal Sexist Job Advertisements On Government Job Seeking Website

  1. What fucking decade did we wake up in… what happened to the Equality Act 2010?! Only last week I was about to apply for a position but got to the bottom of the advert and it said “Young School leavers only”. It did not matter that the job was perfect for me and I for it!

  2. Reed Recruitment





  3. Landless Peasant

    The term ‘Girl Friday’ seems reminiscent of Carry On films, and besides being illegally sexist and wholly patronizing it is also exclusive of other days of the week. For many Friday is Mosque day, hardly the day for hiring the services of a “girl”.

    • Landless Peasant

      Middle-aged pre-op/post-op* Shit Shoveler required for immediate start. Must have hands like shovels as none provided. Period: Ongoing. Remuneration: None.

      (This vacancy is exempted from the Age, Race & Gender, & Sex Discrimination Acts, and is only open to Transexual Irish persons aged over 50.)

      • I think pretending that discrimination FAVOURS trans people – women, probably, as we’re at the forefront of most anti-trans smears – is beneath contempt. Even NHS is utterly vicious to trans people. Even trans actresses almost never get roles, especially to play our own kind. In fact, this “joke” sounds a lot like the male entitlement of cisgender male actors who portray trans women: Sure, you don’t live it and haven’t bothered to understand who you might hurt, but surely as a cis person you’re entitled to just make shit up.

        That’s not to start on the problems with your “pre-op/post-op” joke that doesn’t even make any sense. If there’s a job out there specifically for trans people, it’s probably a public education role to slowly walk back the damage done by bigots like you. It sounds daunting.

  4. I thought Girl Fridays went out with Man Fridays – well before even Carry on.

    But where’s the Gofers?

    “A gofer, go-fer or gopher /ˈɡoʊfər/ is an employee who specializes in delivery of special items to their superior(s). The special items may be anything from a cup of coffee to a tailored suit or a car. Outside of business, the term is used to describe a child or young adult who is learning how to do tasks and is sent to fetch items.” Wikipedia.

  5. Landless Peasant

    Up & coming young Executive seeks Girl Friday for on-the-job training…

  6. A got asked why i never receive any reply when i apply for jobs on it A said even when i click receive feedback button they ignore it . Got told phone up about a job or face sanction though she used the phrase Could effect your benefit . A phoned up what do i get told will contact you if a opportunity does arise Yet they was advertising a job that never existed typical agency

  7. > If you are required to sign up to Universal Jobmatch you still do not have
    > to tick the box giving the DWP access to your account and can untick the
    > box giving them permission to send you emails. You should only be
    > forced to use the website in Jobcentres.

    I have effectively gotten out of UJM by kicking up a fuss with the UJM support/Government Gateway over a question in their sign-up process that the user has to answer. I think it was about race, and whilst there was a choice of “rather not say” I complained on the grounds that I object to categorising people like that. I am not willing to think in the paradigms they want me to, where people are discreetly categorisable based on the amount of melanin in their skin. The website’s sign up required the questioning answering, but the choices they offer did not fit my view.

    Because the job centre had threatened sanctions if I didn’t sign up to UJM I complained about the coercion to have to express myself in a way I did not wish to, I was being denied freedom of expression. I demanded that my choice was removed from their system, and if that was not possible to remove my account. It took weeks, but it was removed.

    The jobby keep asking about UJM, asking if I have given permission or if I signed up. So far I have not lied, but they have not phrased the question in a way that a legitimate sounding answer is actually untrue: I have signed up to UJM, for example. Have I had my account removed? Why yes, but they haven’t asked that.

    If you are the kind of person who agrees race is nothing more than a social construct then you too can legitimately get your UJM account removed.

  8. That sounds like a very good way of sabotaging the process. I ‘declined’ to sign up for UJM when it first came in, and my advisor spent a few weeks somewhat half-heartedly trying to extol it’s virtues, but it was obvious to me that he wasn’t enthusiastic, and for the past year and a half it hasn’t been mentioned.

    However on my last visit to Interserve I was ushered into a room with a group of others for an information session about how they are making their service more efficient. It transpired that the guy giving the briefing isn’t a fan of UJM, but this was only his intro to his alternative, which is a new site that Interserve in Cardiff are evidently piloting, which is supposedly much better than UJM, and which evidently all Workfare at Interserve in Cardiff will be signed up to by Christmas (not me though, unless the site is also available in Welsh!). I don’t see how it can be better than UJM as it is a site that seems to trawl all the other online recruitment sites… Sounds rather familiar, and I’m actually wondering about the data security aspect of this and suspect that it’s just a data mining scam on the part of Interserve, who no doubt have entered into a nice financially rewarding deal with the company that owns the website. I wish I could remember the name of the company behind the website, but as I am sure to have it mentioned to me again I shall report back in due course.

    I doubt that I’ll have to sign up to it, as being a UK-wide commercial site they won’t be familiar with, (and crucially not want to deal with the needs of) the Welsh speaking community and our fundamental right to deal with government agencies, (and those contracted to them) in Welsh. I hope, for their sakes they don’t push the issue, as I don’t think a discrimination case would go down too well… Especially as I’d make sure that it was quite high profile!

  9. Only experienced people wanted

    The young can go fuck themselves

  10. Robin The Boy Woner

    My cousin prints out his UJM crap. Yet they are still not satisfied. He told me handed in two weeks worth of the shit to them, and all they could say was ‘Are all these (jobs) on there?’ To which he replied ‘No. I make most of them up!’ They didn’t appreciate his saracasm, but what do they expect? That sort of inferring and attitude is despicable. I am surprised no JCP staff in there (Prestwich, Manchester) haven’t been slapped yet.

    These suspicious, smug, pencil necked JCP staff are bastards: and I wouldn’t piss on them if they were on fire.

  11. Pingback: Hundreds of Illegal Sexist Job Advertisements O...

  12. Yosserian Hughes.

    I would, gladly – if I could piss parraffin 🙂

    Meanwhile, the jew fraud has been up to his old trick of lettin’ the mask slip……..

    Perhaps the most odious twunt from an odious family of leeches, hangers-on & talentless, parasitical, social climbers.

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