OFFERING JOBS ONLY to people from under-represented groups is unlawful because it is discriminatory. So says the law.
Yet that is what a Hackney social enterprise has done and if a rather slippery email from the Equality Commission to Loving Dalston is to be understood correctly nothing will be done about it.
The social enterprise Hackney Herbal (HH), which promotes herbs for well-being, posted this on its website:
“This traineeship is for Black People and People of Colour (BPOC) because we recognise that the growing and gardening industry does not reflect or represent the population of the UK, and more specifically of Hackney.”
An HH tweet advertised a traineeship for people of colour as well as, puzzlingly, “indigenous people”.
HH told Loving Dalston it had withdrawn the tweet, because it had met with offensive responses. It added that “The reasonings behind the traineeship have been clearly laid out in the page on our website”.
The Equality Commission responded to Loving Dalston’s questions by talking about positive action, before saying: “However, opening up jobs only to people from under-represented groups is positive discrimination rather than positive action, and will be unlawful unless another exemption applies.”
The commission was “reviewing the advert” and would consider what, if any, further action was needed”. It has since told Loving Dalston of neither the result of any such review nor of any further action.
Hackney said it gave HH a one-off grant of £4,985 for 2019-2020. The council, which likes to show a strong commitment to racial equality, said: “It is for independent third-sector organisations to ensure that their employment or trainee recruitment practices are legally compliant.”
Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP Diane Abbott, the first black woman to sit in the UK parliament and a victim of extreme abuse, said: “I have no comment to make.”
Hamish Scott 100621
* Of the people who participated in the last national census about 20% in Hackney listed themselves as being black or black British.
* Backstory: Abbott says why ethnic minorities choose the vax minority; Hackney slavery statue shall stay; Hackney’s finest street art shall not stay; Sledgehammered!; Great faces of rap in Dalston; Here we Igbo again
* Pictures © DavidAltheer@gmail.com. All available for sale via that eddress. Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink.