Recruitment Consultant Tells Lorry Driver He Can’t Have a Job ‘Because He’s British’

Sebastian Murphy-bates, Daily Mail, February 15, 2018

A recruitment consultant has been sacked for telling a ‘gobsmacked’ lorry driver he could not get an interview for a delivery job just eight miles from his home because he was British.

Michael Fowler, 39, received an email from Bulgarian recruitment consultant Plamena Ivanova telling him ‘our positions exclude British candidates’ after he applied for a delivery driver vacancy near his home in Salisbury, Wiltshire.

Recruitment agency Blu Global said it was ‘completely shocked’ after it was shown the email from Ms Ivanova telling the lorry driver of 12 years that he couldn’t apply despite the advert being for EU citizens with a good level of English.

Blu Global said Ms Ivanova has now been sacked as a result of the incident.

The email read: ‘Hi Michael, Are you British because our positions exclude British candidates? Kind regards, Plamena Ivanova, recruitment consultant.’

Mr Fowler, who applied for the driving position on job-site Indeed, said that it was advertised for drivers ‘to live and work in the EU’.

‘I was just gobsmacked,’ he said. ‘I thought I must have read the job advert wrong, but I hadn’t.

‘I work for agencies all the time. I had applied on Indeed for this job which said you had to be an EU citizen eligible to work in the UK and could speak English.

‘Ten minutes later, I got the email saying: ‘Are you British?’

‘I didn’t think too much of it at the time. I was taken aback and a bit shocked, to apply for a job that’s eight miles from my house and not be able to go for it.

A consultant at the recruitment company sent Mr Fowler, right, an email that said he was excluded from the job opportunity because he was British

‘I guess I was shocked because I’ve been doing this job for 12 or 13 years and you get drivers from everywhere. Polish drivers, English drivers, people from everywhere.

‘I’ve never really experienced anything like this before, everyone works together normally.

‘My local paper spoke to a solicitor and he said it is discriminatory and businesses shouldn’t be practising that way.’

With its head office in Wolverhampton, West Midlands, Blu Global claims to have placed more than 1,500 Europeans in UK jobs since 2014 on its website.

The firm was set up in Portugal in 2010 and now operates in 16 countries including Cyprus, Latvia and Poland.

Its British founder set the company up while living in Portugal for three years and the website says: ‘Blu Global is effectively a corporate matchmaking service for European people that want to find work in the UK.’

Mr Fowler says he regularly uses recruitment agencies to secure work and has been driving lorries for at least 12 years

In a section headed Candidate Journey, the site says it is ‘offering English language intensive training with qualified regional tutors’.

The last point in its ‘How our job application process works’ part of the page is solely aimed at people who have arrived in the UK.

‘We understand that some of our candidates will require additional English lessons to improve their language skills,’ the website adds.

A spokesman for Blu Global said that Ms Ivanova, who sent the email, was sacked as a result of the incident and the company denied the claims it would not hire British nationals.

The spokesman said: ‘We refute any allegations that we, as a business, discriminate in any way against our UK-based applicants.

‘No candidate is denied a chance of employment based on their nationality, age, race, gender or sexual orientation.

‘We can confirm that we continuously place candidates of European and British nationality with all of our past and present clients as we advertise for, and recruit, candidates both in the UK and across mainland Europe.

‘Any deviation from this policy, by any member of staff or any independent person or organisation acting under or using the Blu global brand, is not supported in any way by the company. We will fully investigate this allegation.’

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