Employer told not to post advert for ‘reliable’ workers because it discriminates against ‘unreliable’ applicants

Longtime reader Katie sent this in:

Employer told not to post advert for ‘reliable’ workers because it discriminates against ‘unreliable’ applicants. A snippet:

Recruitment boss Nicole Mamo, 48, tried to post an advert for a £5.80-an-hour domestic cleaner on her local Jobcentre Plus website.

She ended the job offer by saying that any applicants for the post ‘must be very reliable and hard-working’.

But when Ms Mamo called the Jobcentre Plus in Thetford, Norfolk, the following day she was told that her advert would not be displayed.

A Jobcentre Plus worker claimed that the word ‘reliable’ meant they could be sued for discriminating against unreliable workers.

Good bye England. It’s been nice to know ya.

Or maybe not goodbye after all. Rather, we’ll be seeing you soon.


  1. What we need is a Handicapper General as first suggested by Kurt Vonnegut in his short story “Harrison Bergeron”. The intelligent people get screecher ear plugs to disrupt their thinking. The fast afoot get ankle weights. The attractive get thick glasses and rubber noses. Everyone is handicapped down a common denominator of pathetic incompetence and dumbosity. It’s the only fair and equitable social system.

    Either that or kill all the lawyers.

  2. In today’s England this report makes perfect sense. Currently the bobbies don’t let rescuers enter burning buildings to save lives and displaying the flag of England on one’s car is considered “racist”. Then from an earlier post a jones want’s Desmond Tutu to be Archbishop of Canterbury. What’s not to love about that? Will the last true Brit leaving the UK please blow out the parrafin?

  3. Ari

    They must be afraid of offending chavs. Goodness forbid!

  4. I thought of “Harrison Bergeron” when I read the Spectator article. This is just another in a long line of idiocy that has brought about the name “Formerly Great Britain” – which is another long thread.

    It’s a good thing that Churchill, Pitt, Disraeli, Nelson, &c., did not live to see what has become of their once great country.

    The next logical step in the employment policy is that each employer will post a requirement (in number of people wanted only), and then the Central Bureau for Employment will take the next N names on their list and send the people out. There will be no “trial period”, no “internship”. Hiring will not be a thing done by employer to employee, but by employee to employer.

    The really good thing about this wonderful process is that nobody will ever be made redundant again. Think of all the social good that will bring about.

  5. Spruance

    Let’s give up the discrimination between money and toy money! The most of our prblems will disappear!

  6. Rich

    Note that she had a problem before this with, “Must speak English” which she got round by changing it to, “Must be fluent in written and spoken English for Health and Safety reasons”. So maybe that’s the trick. Use one lot of nonsense to neutralize the other.

    So: kids can play conkers in the playground because to stop them violates their ethnic culture.
    Firefighters can enter burning buildings because to stop them would damage their self esteem.
    Photographers can take pictures of the Houses of Parliament because it’s part of their national identity.

    It might work. We only have to keep a straight face.

  7. Bernie

    Ahh the art of writing useful job ads.

    Of course, advertising for candidates through a government run employment center is probably the first mistake. The response from the bureaucrat, if real, is silly. But the notion that putting “reliable” in a job ad will help screen possible candidates is also silly.

    Let’s see, job applicant reads ad and says to self – well I am sometimes reliable, especially when I need the money so I guess I meet the criteria.

    Parsimony suggests eliminating all criteria based on self assessment. Such terms as “honest” and “hardworking” are equally useless.

    The best way to leverage the principle of self slection is to make sure the job ad accurately describes the work in all its glory. For example, must be able to pick up after family of 2 adults and 3 teenagers, dust, vacuum 3 bedroom home and wash kitchen and 2 bathroom floors in 3 hours. That should scare off the lazy bast**ds. Then focus exclusively on those criteria that can be documented/certified. Suggest “Must be bonded” or the UK equivalent. Or if that is too constraining – how about “Must have 2 impeccable work-related references.”

    The same principles hold for college professors and consultants. They do not hold quite for politicians though since apparently many of the key success criteria are what the rest of us see as negative characteristics: belief that you are better than the rest of us, ablity to lie, make unrealistic promises, live beyond your current means, etc.

  8. Sebastian Weetabix

    I wouldn’t worry about it too much. As you’re reading these comments the dire functionary concerned will be given a good kicking for their excess of zeal. After all, if they were that bright, they wouldn’t be working for low wages at the lowest level in the civil service. All that’s happened here is someone has taken the sentiment of “do not discriminate” and taken it to its illogical conclusion, much to the embarassment of the government department concerned.

  9. Bernie

    You have more trust in the self correcting capacities of government bureaucracies that I do. There is a distinct possibility that this episode, if was noticed, could end up getting this civil servant a promotion so that he/she would not have a chance to make the same mistake again!

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