Anger at job advertisement for Polish speaker

A JOB advert which stipulates the applicants must speak Polish has been suspended following a complaint.

Russell Claydon

A JOB advert which stipulates the applicants must speak Polish has been suspended following a complaint.

The vacancy for a factory operative has been taken down from the Job Centre in Sudbury on grounds it may discriminate.

The Department for Work and Pensions is investigating after the advert for the �5.80-an-hour position at a manufacturing plant in Acton stated the applicant “must be able to speak Polish” in order to “understand instructions from the Polish supervisor”.

But a revised version on non-government job sites on the internet yesterday said “Polish language would be advantageous but is not essential”.

Prime Appointments, an independent recruitment company in Suffolk and Essex who listed the job, claimed it had simply been a mistake.

Most Read

Chris van Aalst, the financial director, said: “It is a genuine mistake. A young girl was being trained and it was a genuine error.”

But the advert has caused anger from people desperately seeking work in the recession around the Sudbury area.

A 50-year-old man, who regularly uses the Sudbury Job Centre but did not want to give his name, said: “There are a lot of local people looking for jobs and it is not very good.”

Christine Johnson, clerk of Acton Parish Council, said she had been “surprised” by the advert.

“I find it strange a manufacturing company in Acton would employ a supervisor who cannot speak to people who speak English. I can understand someone being bi-lingual in this day and age,” she said.

A spokesperson for the Department of Work and Pensions said: “If an employer is seeking foreign language skills, we ask them to submit further details which we check to ensure that the request complies with the law.

“In this case, the information was not provided and therefore we have suspended the advertisement until the matter is resolved.”

A Government Equalities Office spokesperson said: “In general terms, unless there is a genuine need for a worker to speak a particular language it is against the law to require that they should do so as a condition of employing them. This will continue to be the case under the Equality Bill.”