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Question from another thread about au pair employment and gender discrimination

(19 Posts)
bran Fri 14-Jun-13 16:25:22

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flowery Fri 14-Jun-13 16:59:45

Discrimination has to be able to be objectively justifiable. So on that basis the law is a little more flexible for live in positions in that you are more likely to be able to objectively justify a gender requirement. Things like care workers, who may need to help a female dress or bathe, or that type of thing.

But if the objective justification you are using is a blanket assumption that women aren't fun, and would therefore not be able to do the job, you'd be laughed out of a tribunal I'm afraid....

flowery Fri 14-Jun-13 17:07:42

Of course the chances of a female au pair bringing a claim because you appointed a male are very slim, as it would be unlikely they'd have any reason to think there'd be any discrimination. So in practice as long as you are gender neutral in any advertising or similar, and are not broadcasting your intention to discriminate, you could probably still appoint a man quite safely.

bran Fri 14-Jun-13 17:25:39

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bran Fri 14-Jun-13 17:29:02

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flowery Fri 14-Jun-13 17:47:52

Well, the fact that you've given your DC the right of veto and they think women aren't fun wouldn't wash as objective justification either- you're the employer, not them.

Regardless of the fact that you think female candidates aren't likely to find your ad, I would strongly recommend removing references to gender from it and also making it available for any candidate to view. If you must discriminate, do it at the short listing stage, not for the world to see.

bran Fri 14-Jun-13 17:58:14

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bran Fri 14-Jun-13 18:01:27

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5madthings Fri 14-Jun-13 18:06:59

I think you need to deal with the sexism your children are displaying.

If your son would say "I don't want a girl go away" you need to tell him not to be so rude! And challenge his attitude towards women.

flowery Fri 14-Jun-13 18:17:58

I do find the assumption/fact that your DC won't like any women, or will refuse to be left alone with a woman, slightly puzzling tbh. Hopefully you have plans to address that issue-I'm assuming DC are too young to do that at present.

Anyway, the law is what it is, whether you think it shouldn't apply in your circumstances or not. Lots of employers would take a similar view about things they feel shouldn't apply to them.

Portofino Fri 14-Jun-13 18:27:58

How old are your dc? I find this all a bit odd.

bran Fri 14-Jun-13 18:52:39

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flowery Fri 14-Jun-13 19:26:00

Goodness, I have to say when you mentioned "refusing" to be left with a woman, I was visualising a tantrumming 2yo or similar.

If you have school age children and you are "reasonably sure DS would walk up to the computer and say "I don't want a girl, go away", then I would think (and hope) that they are unusually sexist. I wouldn't like to think that was a normal attitude or way of behaving. But I only have one school age child do appreciate my frame of reference is limited, and it may be more normal than I think.

bran Fri 14-Jun-13 19:35:20

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bran Fri 14-Jun-13 19:35:50

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bran Fri 14-Jun-13 19:37:11

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flowery Fri 14-Jun-13 20:31:18

Well. I have to say, if I had an inkling that DS1 had that attitude, I would be inclined to do my very best to find a suitable football playing woman, to try and deal with the problem, rather than pandering to it.

Mind you, if my DS said he wanted a man because they are more fun and play football, I would also tell him not to be so ridiculous and would have very strong words about how the contents of people's underwear do not have any bearing on how much fun they are and whether they play football.

It's up to you obviously, and if you have a good-sounding candidate you may feel starting again is cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Finding childcare is hard and stressful, I know. But I think you may have convinced yourself your DCs' attitude and behaviour is normal because doing so makes your job of finding someone easier.

But there is an underlying problem here which will not be resolved by just going with what your DC want. If you do go with a man this time, I'd suggest doing so only with open eyes about the problem and with a commitment to sort it ASAP.

bran Fri 14-Jun-13 20:45:54

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flowery Fri 14-Jun-13 20:53:52

Oh no don't crysmile

You sound like you have a lot on your plate and I can quite see the temptation to go with it to make the process easier. I also think wanting a male role model in the absence of one is valid, although it sounds like there's obviously a lot more to it here.

If your DS is under a mental health team talking to them about it would be a good idea. I'm sure they will be able to advise on what the most appropriate way of dealing with this is in your DS's situation.

How old is DS?

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