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Not Fitting Into the Mould

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Not fitting into the mouldAs Adam Mokhtar had always been interested to work with children, he responded to a job advertisement for the post of a teacher at a childcare centre. To his disappointment, he was told that the school was looking for a female teacher. He was not given any reason for this requirement. He lodged a complaint with TAFEP as he felt that this was discriminatory.

TAFEP approached the centre on the matter. The centre clarified that the Centre Supervisor was not around when the incident happened. They also highlighted that the school did not have intention to discriminate based on gender but the job scope of the position required the person to bathe the children. Hence, it was not deemed suitable for male applicants. The school admitted that this should have been communicated to Adam during the phone interview.

After our engagement, the company agreed to brief their HR staff on proper communication with job seekers to avoid any misunderstanding. When hiring, employers should do so on merit, which means giving the job to the person who is best suited for the job. Factors such as age, race, language, religion, gender or family responsibilities should not be used to judge a person’s ability to do a job. If a job requires a person of a particular gender, employers should justify the need for such a requirement. This is to reduce ambiguity and minimise incidences of misunderstanding between job seekers and employers.

Subsequently, the centre contacted Adam to explain the reason for requiring a female teacher. He accepted the job justification.