Government website slammed for job advert in Polish

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job advert

The Jobcentre Plus website is in the news again for all the wrong reasons, after it emerged that a job labouring on a construction site had been advertised on the site in Polish.

But is this really such a bad thing? And is this the worst thing that these sites have advertised?


The outcry

The Daily Mail reported that the advert was for a labourer on a site in London's Docklands, and was entirely in Polish. It appeared on the JobCentre Plus site, as well as the Directgov website and CV-Library.co.uk.

On the one hand the advert broke a number of rules. The DWP told the Huffington Post that UK jobs are only supposed to be posted in English or Welsh, and this is why the Polish adverts had been taken down.

There's also the risk that it breaks the 2010 Equality Act, by excluding those who may be suitable for the role. This Act stops people from being deliberately discriminatory in adverts - such as advertising for a female waitress or a young salesperson.

The idea is that you are not allowed to specify anything such as race, gender, ethnicity or age unless it is central to the role. There are some serious questions to be asked as to whether speaking Polish is a vital requirement of a construction labourer.

In addition, there's an argument that in the past some employers have favoured particular nationalities, because they could be pushed to work harder or they were easier to exploit.

And let's not overlook the fact that the job was being advertised at less than the minimum wage.

Is this so bad?

On the other hand, CV-Library told the Daily Mail that the job was working for a Polish site manager who spoke no English. According to the rules, it should have been written in English but specify that the candidate needed to be able to speak fluent Polish. However, there's an argument that anyone who could speak fluent Polish would have been able to read and respond to the advert.

In some ways it's hard to see exactly who is being wronged here - except for those people who struggle to deal with a job advert in England's second most popular language on a government site.

And there have been far worse things on Government job sites. As we reported at the end of last year, the Universal Jobsmatch site had featured fake jobs, such as one for a hitman, and real jobs in inappropriate industries - including pornography.

Once an official site has advertised a job for a female presenter of 'internet babe chat' should we be so upset when another official site advertises for someone who needs to be able to speak Polish?

But what do you think? Let us know in the comments.

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