Accountancy RADAR


The EHRC has responsibility for overseeing the application of all the Equality Legislation in the UK however so far the UK EHRC has refused to act against age discrimination.  The Equality Commission in Northern Ireland have confirmed that the UK Commission does have the power to act but so far the EHRC in the UK have done almost nothing to promote age equality in recruitment


More than three years after the introduction of the Age Discrimination Regulations nothing has really changed in Financial Recruitment.  We are asking the EHRC to act against the blatant breaches of the rules by recruitment agencies.  It is time this discrimination stopped..

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Equality Commission must be forced to act against Age Discrimination


Law in practice: discriminatory job advertisements


Recruitment advertising has been in the spotlight recently after a landmark ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) found that job adverts could amount to direct discrimination.

In the case of Centrum voor gelijkheid van kansen en voor racismebestrijding v Firma Feryn, the court found that a job advert by a Belgian company, which stated it did not employ 'immigrants' because its clients did not like dealing with them, was tantamount to direct discrimination on the grounds of race.

The ruling overturned the UK position decided in Cardiff Women's Aid v Hartup in 1984, which held that a job advertisement falls outside the remit of discrimination legislation and that an individual could not bring a claim based on a recruitment advert.

Until now, proceedings could only be brought by the Equality and Human Rights Commission on behalf of individuals but after the ECJ ruling individuals can now bring claims as well


Ms Keane asked the Equality Commission for help at the outset of her case.  The Equality Commission responded that her case “would not advance the strategic objectives of the commissions”.  In fact it would seem that the fight against age discrimination is not included in the strategic objectives of the EHRC.


More recently Ms Keane sent the commission details of discriminatory advertisements from Financial Recruiters, including many advertisements produced and published by Robert Walters PLC.  The EHRC initially claimed that they had no power to act against discriminatory advertising but after Ms Keane forwarded them the article above and communication from the Equality Commission in Northern Ireland the EHRC now accept that they have the power to act.


Miss Keane should have been able to challenge these discriminatory advertisements on the basis of the case mentioned below but the tribunal denied her the right to do this


However they have so far failed to act.  In a letter to Ms Keane dated 13 November 2009, the EHRC say: “The Equality Act gives the Commission power to challenge advertisers and, potentially, publishers (we are seeking Counsel’s advice on this point) of advertisements which discriminate on the grounds of age and we will use our legal strategy to determine when to do so.  Because we have limited resources, our legal strategy prioritises cases that will have the widest possible impact and/or addresses grey areas in the law and, even with priority cases, we always take steps to resolve matters with the parties directly with legal proceedings being used as a last resort when necessary”

Rage Against Discrimination in Accountancy Recruitment