We recently posted that the BBC reported that numerous age discriminatory ads appear on the UK government’s Universal Jobmatch website, seeking “recent graduates” or “young graduates.”

One UK ad read: ”We are always looking to recruit talented, ambitious young people who may fit well into one of our progressive thinking departments such as media, including social media, TV, press officer or other departments such as office administration.”

Now The New Zealand Herald has reported on an investigation revealing “the surprisingly high number of employers advertising for ‘young’ staff, which could be in breach of the Human Rights Act.”

energetic people : Collection of active junior kids jumping

“Publishing terms such as recent or new graduate could be breaching anti-age discrimination laws because it implied employers were after younger workers,” the same as job sites “advertising for new or recent graduates.”

The NZ EEO Commissioner stated:  “While there are some exceptions in the Human Rights Act for age discrimination in employment, such as where being of a certain age or in a particular age group is a genuine occupational qualification – for example managing licensed premises – it is good practice not to ask about a job applicant’s age or to limit the age of prospective job applicants.”

While “new” or “recent graduate” was not necessarily discriminatory, according to one local lawyer, the article noted that another employment lawyer said that “advertisers often used descriptions such as ‘fresh’ or ‘new ideas’ to avoid mentioning age.”

Avoid Mentioning Age As To Older Employees

“Avoid mentioning age” – boy, have we spent a lot of time and effort collecting descriptions of older employees which do not explicitly mention age — which the employees have later used in court as direct evidence of age discrimination under the ADEA.

older employee : A view of a senior engineer training a newly hired employee. Stock Photo

See our posts listing:  “ancient,” “old school,” “set in his ways,” “not a proper fit for the “new environment,” “lacking in energy,” “not being up to date,” “sounds old on the telephone,” “bag of bones,” “not enough runway,” and “a little long in the tooth.”

Avoid Mentioning Age As To Younger Employees

As to words or terms used by employers to describe younger employees  The New Zealand Herald helpfully listed “Examples of discriminatory or potentially discriminatory ads found on Seek and Trade Me:”

* Young and vibrant waiting staff wanted

* We’re looking for vibrant salespeople with a young, passionate energy

energetic people : Handsome businessman in suit leaping over green grass with cloudy sky at background

* This job (curtain cleaning assistant) could suit a young person

* We are looking for a motivated young chef

* We’re in growth mode recruiting for a young and ambitious Wellington-based Diesel Mechanic

* If you’re a motivated, talented young marketer

* An administrator for an early learning centre who is “young at heart but mature in experience”

* We’re on the hunt for young, fit and competent carpenters for immediate starts

* An opportunity exists for a creative and talented young chef

* Young person willing to learn – mechanic technician

* Apprentice carpenter builder wanted – would suite keen young person or someone who is already an apprentice

* We are looking for a young person to become part of our hard working team of boat builders as a labourer general assistant

* Due to growth, we have a vacancy for a keen young person to join the team – junior driver store person electrical wholesaling.