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Employers 'should not recruit based on looks'

Published: Friday, 02 May 2008   Category: Life after graduation

A barrister has warned that recruiting an applicant based on looks rather than ability could land companies in trouble.

'Aesthetic labour' - recruitment based on dress sense, body language, personal grooming or even their accent - is largely associated with service industry roles and may be deemed discriminatory.

Lucy Bones, barrister at Littleton Chambers, said that appearance-based issues can become problematic within the area of discrimination.

"A female employee could argue that women are harder hit by apparently unisex policies concerning weight, as there is greater social pressure on women to be slim and maternity may make weight control more difficult for women.

"An array of medical conditions which qualify as disabilities may also lead to weight gain or loss. Eating disorders may also amount to disabilities as they affect the sufferer's ability to nourish themselves," she remarked

Littleton Chambers is a set of barristers specialising in employment law and commercial litigation.


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