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Gloucestershire Hairdresser Forced To Remove Job Ad For Discriminating Against Unhappy People

by : Cameron Frew on : 05 Sep 2020 11:21
Gloucestershire Hairdresser Forced To Remove Job Ad For Discriminating Against Unhappy PeopleGloucestershire Hairdresser Forced To Remove Job Ad For Discriminating Against Unhappy PeopleSWNS

A hair salon’s recruitment advert was prohibited by a job centre as it was ‘discriminatory’ against unhappy people. 

Alison Birch recently listed a job ad for a part-time qualified hairdresser at her AJ’s Unisex Hair Salon in Stroud, Gloucestershire.

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It was fairly standard, calling upon someone with five years’ experience in a salon, as well as being ‘confident in barbering as well as all aspects of hairdressing’. However, the problems arose with the following statement: ‘This is a busy, friendly, small salon, so only happy, friendly stylist need apply.’

Alison Birch owner of AJ's Unisex Hairsalon holds a mock job advertisement worded very similarly to that which she posted online through the Job Centre.Alison Birch owner of AJ's Unisex Hairsalon holds a mock job advertisement worded very similarly to that which she posted online through the Job Centre.SWNS

On Wednesday, September 2, Alison received a call from the local job centre informing her that they could not run the advert due to the word ‘happy’ being considered ‘discriminatory’.

Alison shared the full conversation to her Facebook page shortly afterwards. The male who phoned her said, ‘I am sorry but we can’t place your advert because you have put a discriminatory word in it and we need to change it.’

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Alison Birch owner of AJ's Unisex SalonAlison Birch owner of AJ's Unisex SalonSWNS

At this point, Alison grew immediately concerned, replying, ‘I am really sorry but I am sure I didn’t, what did I put?’ He said, ‘You said it is a happy salon and only happy people should apply.’

The job centre worker continued: 

I am sorry but the word happy is a discriminatory word and we aren’t allowed to use it. I can read you the rules on discrimination if you like, but it is a long document. Shall we change the word in case somebody thinks that they can’t apply for the job because they are not a happy person?

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When Alison said that she only wanted happy people, he replied, ‘As I said, it is a discriminatory word and you are not allowed to use it, somebody who is not happy will be discriminated against.’

Alison Birch owner of AJ's Unisex SalonAlison Birch owner of AJ's Unisex SalonSWNS

He then asked, ‘Should we change the word in case somebody thinks that they can’t apply for the job because they are not a happy person?’ However, Alison didn’t want to change the wording, later asking the advert to be removed from the website.

Alison added, ‘Was I being a bit sensitive, and is the word happy discriminative? Or has this whole world all gone mad?’

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However, most of Alison’s customers agreed with her, with Karen Evans writing, ‘The world has gone absolutely mad. Does this mean that every descriptive word is discriminative… happy, tall, smart, elegant? Good luck with your search.’

Alison Birch (R) owner of AJ's Unisex Salon alongside Claire Young, the managerAlison Birch (R) owner of AJ's Unisex Salon alongside Claire Young, the managerSWNS

Julie Thickins also commented, ‘I thought this was a joke, realising it clearly isn’t has left me absolutely speechless… what has the human race come to?’

Charlie Brown also wrote, ‘You cannot make it up, how ridiculous are they being. Stick to your guns Ali, you are a happy salon and if some numpties cannot deal with that wording then tough.’

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Alison added that she’s ‘still looking for a happy part-time fully qualified stylist’.

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Life, discrimination, Now