Islanders have lashed out at an exclusive private members’ club after they put out a job advert seeking “attractive hostesses".
Twenty Eight International, a self-dubbed “international, exclusive and private” members club based in Halkett Place, St Helier, advertised on Friday for hostesses and a front of house manager via a sponsored Facebook post. The two posts quickly drew the attention of dozens of islanders - but for all the wrong reasons.
They had taken issue with the luxury club’s calls for applicants to both positions to be “attractive”, with one of the posts – accompanied by a photo of three young women in fitted short-length black dresses and high heels – reading:
“*Job vacancy* Twenty Eight is looking for bright attractive hostesses with bubbly personalities with bar experience to work Friday Evenings at Jersey’s most luxurious private members club. Hourly rate up to £20 per hour for the right person.”
Pictured: One of the two adverts posted on Friday that sparked a strong backlash from islanders on social media, and was shared on multiple parenting blogs.
One islander commented, “Oh dear… are we back in the 1970’s?”, while another joked: “Is there an interview with marks-out-of-ten cards?” Others were outraged that the advert appeared overtly “discriminatory” and may even be in breach of the law.
Zoe Hawley said: “Are u even aloud to advertise a job vacancy in this way this day in age? Sexist is just 1 word that springs to mind.” One woman alerted Twenty Eight to the Jersey Advice and Conciliatory Services’ (JACS) guidance on discrimination, while another took the opportunity to promote a role within the States of Jersey Digital Delivery Team as an “experienced, accomplished and confident web content strategists”:
“Hey girls! If you're looking for a job where you will be appreciated for your brain instead of your "attractiveness and bubbly personality" we're hiring...”
Director of JACS’, Patricia Ronan, told Express that adverts are not currently covered by discrimination legislation, but that the advert could be a “starting point” for a Tribunal claim if an individual felt they were rejected, “…due to the criteria expressed in the advert – including any images used.”
“In this case, if a male applied for the role (say with relevant experience from a similar role) and was declined, then under the protected characteristic of sex he could lodge a claim at the Tribunal and use the advert photograph and wording to advise that the club never had any intention of taking him on even though he is well qualified to undertake the role,” she said.
Pictured: The second advert for an "attractive Front of House manager with a bubbly personality".
Malcolm Ferey, CEO of Citizens Advice Bureau, added that the adverts were “not good practice” and said that he would strongly advice the club to reconsider the advert’s wording and associated photo.
“It begs so many questions. What is the nature of the club? Why does it have to be specifically one gender? Is that within the role? Is there a specific reason? It doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the right or the wrong thing, but the employer is going to have to justify those things if there’s a complaint against them.”
Nonetheless, he said he was happy to see islanders standing up against alleged discrimination following the legislation's introduction: "In some ways, this proves that [discrimination law] does change hearts and minds behind what is and isn’t acceptable."
Responding to the backlash, Micky Timms, Chief Executive of Twenty Eight, told Express that the fault lay with the social media writer:
“The person responsible for our social media, made a mistake, it should have read: 'We are looking for someone with an attractive and bubbly personality'.”
He added: “We apologise unreservedly and are pleased to confirm that we have corrected the post.”
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