Posted on March 19, 2010

Racism Storm Over £38,000 ‘Indians-Only’ Job Advert

Daily Mail (London), March 18, 2010

A racism inquiry was under way last night after a firm advertised a £38,000-a-year job for someone ‘preferably of Indian origin’.

The advert was placed on a popular recruitment website on behalf of a computer company based in Britain and India.

It stated: ‘Minimum six years of experience in IT . . . The person should be a UK citizen with security clearance from the UK Government. Preferably of Indian origin.’

The advert was removed last night from the website as the Equality and Human Rights Commission launched an investigation.

The wording was condemned by Conservative Monmouth MP David Davies.

He said: ‘It is quite clearly racist. I call on the EHRC to show resolute action in dealing with cases of anti-British discrimination.’

The advert, for the Bristol-based post at technology company Torry Harris, was spotted by IT consultant Vince Silva of Chepstow, Gwent.

He said: ‘I have never seen a recruitment advert like this before, and think it is appalling job applicants could be discriminated against in this way.

‘It raises a wider question about the way in which some big companies in Britain are bringing in IT workers from abroad instead of recruiting them here.’

Recruitment agency McGregor-Boyall Associates said the advert had been placed in error.

Spokesman Farhaan Majid said: ‘This is a mistake. I put the advert through like this when I shouldn’t have done.’

He added: ‘Some companies prefer to employ people of Indian origin because they are immediately available and don’t mind moving.

‘Often people in Britain . . . have mortgages and don’t want to move.’

The recruitment firm’s managing director Laurie Boyall said: ‘It should not have been put up, and was cut and pasted from material sent to us by a client in India.’ said advert content was the responsibility of advertisers and it did not check listings before they were placed on the site.

Torry Harris declined to comment, but the EHRC said: ‘It is unlawful to discriminate against a job applicant on the basis of their nationality . . . We will be looking into the matter.’