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Warning against ageist adverts on social media

Publish date: 08 August 2018
Issue Number: 248
Diary: Legalbrief Workplace
Category: General

Concerns have been raised that companies could be taking advantage of filtering tools offered by social media sites to show job adverts only to select groups of users, potentially hindering older people from applying. People Management reports that the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has spoken to two UK companies about using tools on Facebook to target specific age groups. Meanwhile, in the US, the Communications Workers of America and three workers are pursuing a class action lawsuit, alleging companies had used Facebook’s filtering tools to make sure only younger workers could see their adverts. The social media site itself was not named as a defendant. Paul Holcroft, associate director at Croner, warned employers’ use of age filters could be ‘risky’ if they didn’t think about their choices carefully. ‘Although age is treated differently to the other protected characteristics in that employers can justify direct as well as indirect discrimination, potentially discriminatory recruitment methods need thorough and detailed consideration,’ he said. ‘It’s the employer who has to stand before the judge and explain them, after all.’

Full People Management report