Alison Birch listed a job ad looking for a part-time qualified hairdresser at her AJ’s Unisex Hair Salon in Stroud, England,.
The position called for someone with five years’ experience of working in a salon, who is “confident in barbering as well as all aspects of hairdressing.”
And the advertisement stated, “This is a busy, friendly, small salon, so only happy, friendly stylists need apply.”
But on Wednesday, Birch says she received a call from her local job center informing her they could not run her ad because the word “happy” is considered “discriminatory.”
Birch claims the job center told her that the advertisement may make some people feel they cannot apply if they do not consider themselves to be a “happy” person.
Birch shared the conversation she had with the job center on the salon’s Facebook page.
She claims the man at the job center said to her: “I’m sorry, but the word happy is a discriminatory word and we aren’t allowed to use it, as somebody who is not happy will be discriminated against.”
According to Birch, he then asked: “Should we change the word in case somebody thinks that they can’t apply for the job because they are not a happy person?”
Birch said she was questioning herself.
“Was I being a bit sensitive, and is the word happy discriminative? Or has this whole world all gone mad?” Birch said.
And plenty of Birch’s customers agreed with her outrage over the job center’s “ridiculous” stance on her advert.
Karen Evans commented: “The world has gone absolutely mad.
“Does this mean that every descriptive word is discriminative… happy, tall, smart, elegant? Good luck with your search.”
Julie Thickins added: “I thought this was a joke, realizing it clearly isn’t has left me absolutely speechless… what has the human race come to?”
And Charlie Brown wrote: “You cannot make it up, how ridiculous are they being.
“Stick to your guns Ali, you are a happy salon and if some numpties cannot deal with that wording then tough.”