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Santa recruitment clause breaks all the rules

Anyone recruiting for a Father Christmas this year could be breaking every rule in the book…

Published on December 12th 2006.


Santa recruitment clause breaks all the rules

Political correctness – you’ve got to find it funny. Calling a sheep with black wool a ‘black sheep’ is racist. Advertising for an ‘office junior’ is age discriminatory. Calling someone a ‘spokesman’ is sexist. We’re offending people and breaking rules all over the place by using the wrong terminology, without even realising.

While laws have been tightened up here there and everywhere to regulate what we can and can’t say, one of the world’s most famous characters has managed to slip through the net of political correctness. Which isn’t an easy thing for someone that obese to do.

According to SAS Daniels solicitors, the job description for Father Christmas is breaking every rule in the book. Think about it. Anyone looking for a Father Christmas traditionally wants a fat, white, able bodied older bloke – something that could result in every retailer, garden centre, business, club or event organiser that recruits a Father Christmas breaking discrimination laws and facing potentially unlimited penalties.

Jonathan Whittaker, employment partner at SAS Daniels solicitors, says “tradition is being trashed, and sometimes the inflexibility of recruitment and health and safety laws are contributing to the cancellation of some parts of Christmas”.

Apparently though, the only part of Father Christmas’ person specification that is legal is that he must be a male – which is classed as a genuine occupational qualification (GOQ).

Jonathan Whittaker informs us “Section 7 of the Sex Discrimination Act (SDA) provides an exception to the requirements of the act and allows a job to be restricted to one sex where the sex of the worker is a genuine occupational qualification.”

So there you go.

DISCLAIMER: Obviously everything here is hypothetical. There is only one Father Christmas.

Jayne Robinson

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