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Jobcentres (Race Relations)

Volume 447: debated on Monday 12 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what guidance has been given to jobcentres, including Jobcentre Plus Partnerships, on the restricting of references to a geographical area to meet the requirements of race relations legislation. (64824)

I have been asked to reply.

The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie. She will write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Lesley Strathie:

The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking what guidance has been given to jobcentres including Jobcentre Plus Partnerships on the restricting of references to a geographical area to meet the requirements of race relations legislation. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.

Jobcentre Plus guidance states that employers are permitted to set out requirements in job advertisements, such as the arrangement of transport from an allocated location to take employees to and from a place of work. Where an employer wishes to state that potential applicants must reside in a particular town or city this cannot be accepted, as it may exclude some groups of people.

Jobcentre Plus must ensure that it meets its obligations under equal opportunities legislation. Where Jobcentre Plus staff have concerns that an employer is placing restrictions that may exclude potential applicants, they advise the employer of this and suggest alternative wording.