“Using ‘handyman’ instead of ‘handyperson’ in job adverts is discriminatory” – NCPE

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The National Commission for the Promotion of Equality (NCPE) stated that job adverts based on stereotypical assumptions can be discriminatory as they omit groups of people, such as the use of word ‘handyman’ rather than ‘handyperson’. It stressed that job adverts should be inclusive and open to everyone.

In a press release, NCPE detailed that job adverts can exclude groups of persons, limit prospects and squander talent through the choice of words and pictures which are based on stereotypical assumptions. The use of the word ‘handyman’ as opposed to ‘handyperson’, along with descriptions such as ‘mature’ or ‘young’ imply that only persons with specific characteristics are eligible for the job. It stressed that the requirements requested in the advert must be genuinely essential for the job.

It added that the Equal Treatment for Men and Women Act states that “it shall be unlawful for persons to publish or display or cause to be published or displayed any advertisement, or, otherwise to advertise a vacancy for employment which discriminates between job seekers…”.  Therefore, NCPE consider discriminatory job adverts that restrict vacancies to particular groups of persons as unlawful.

NCPE said that persons who deem they are being discriminated against when looking for employment can lodge a complaint with the commission for investigation. Furthermore, job offers deemed to be discriminatory may be referred to the commission for necessary action.