The Equality and Human Rights Commission (the Commission) has issued guidance on avoiding unlawful discrimination under the Equality Act 2010 (the Act) in advertisements for jobs, goods, services, facilities and accommodation.
The Commission has stated that many people risk being denied access to jobs and services due to discriminatory and unlawful advertising. In the last year, the Commission received over 100 complaints about adverts that were discriminatory. The grounds of discrimination ranged from age (a recruitment agency advert stating ‘over 45s need not apply’) to disability (a hotel said that it would not offer accommodation to disabled people) as well as sex, ethnicity and sexual orientation (a further hotel had said that it wouldn’t allow same sex couples to stay in a room together).
As a result, the Commission has published guidelines for advertisers and publishers which explains the law under the Act, provides examples of what is and is not lawful advertising under the Act, as well as providing a checklist for good practice in advertising.
The Commission’s guidance reminds readers that liability under the Act can arise not only for the organisation placing the advert, but for those who produce or display the advert, whether in print or online form.