The Malta Independent 17 February 2020, Monday

Job adverts for equal opportunities

Thursday, 22 August 2019, 15:38 Last update: about 7 months ago

Discrimination jeopardises employment opportunities and people may be barred from a job because of who they are. Job adverts can exclude groups of persons, limit prospects and squander talent. The National Commission for the Promotion of Equality stresses that job adverts should be inclusive and open to everyone. 

Safeguarding equal opportunities in job adverts is a prerequisite for equality in recruitment and in the access to employment. The Equal Treatment for Men and Women Act states that "it shall be unlawful for persons to publish or display or cause to be published or displayed any advertisement, or, otherwise to advertise a vacancy for employment which discriminates between job seekers ..." Therefore, discriminatory job adverts that restrict vacancies to particular groups of persons are unlawful.


Job adverts should not be based on stereotypical assumptions as they can be misrepresentative and lead to discrimination among potential applicants from a wider pool of human resources.

Such stereotypes can be found in the text of the adverts, including job titles such as "handyman" rather than "handyperson" and descriptions that include personal characteristics, such as "young" and "mature".

Similarly, the photos and illustrations can also imply that only persons with specific characteristics are eligible for the job. In addition, the requirements requested in the advert must be genuinely essential for the job. 

Inclusion and equal opportunities in adverts can be additionally reinforced by including a prominent equal opportunities statement that applications are welcome from all suitably qualified or experienced persons as evidence that all candidates are welcome.

A job advert that is open to everyone not only promotes diversity and equality at the workplace, but it also contributes to maximise the number of high-quality applicants who would be attracted to apply and thus enable the recruitment of the best-qualified candidate for the job. 

Persons who deem they are discriminated against in the access to employment can lodge a complaint with the NCPE for investigation. Moreover, discriminatory job adverts can be referred to NCPE to undertake the necessary action. 

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