Expatica news

“Professional unemployed need not apply”

2 August 2007

MOL – The Kempen department of the Christian trade union ACV has filed a complaint with the Centre for Equal Opportunity and Combating Racism (CGKR) because it is not happy with a ‘help wanted’ ad from a cafe owner in Mol. “Blockheads, professional unemployed, and uninterested individuals need not apply,” the ad reads.

“People who receive benefits for some reason or another feel seriously offended,” says Dré Wolput of ACV. “Just to make it clear, being unemployed is not a career. Moreover most of them are really looking for a decent job. This ad is being passed on to the CGKR. Not only because it is insulting but also because it is very discriminatory.”

The ad is for a job at the Kleppende Klipper. The owner of the catering establishment was in the news earlier this year for failing to implement the smoking ban.

Danny Vermeer of the Kleppende Klipper is not in the least ashamed of the ad. “I have been paying for a ‘help wanted’ ad for months,” he says. “Most people who respond are not suitable. That is why I changed the ad.”

“By blockheads I mean people who have to wash the cutlery five or six times because it’s still dirty. I won’t accept poor service, or failing to clear tables.” With the term ‘professional unemployed’ Vermeer says he is referring to people who are required to go on job interviews to keep their benefits. “They set their conditions before they’ve even started,” he says. “They cannot bend down, they want to go home in the afternoon or they refuse to be officially on the books. And finally you have the group of uninterested individuals. Those are mostly young people whose parents insist they get a summer job. But they don’t listen, are much too lazy and call in sick when it’s nice out so they can enjoy the weather.”

“The word choice of the ad is a bit lamentable,” says Gert Backx of the CGKR. “But we don’t think it represents a direct form of discrimination. The law sets a number of conditions, including sexual orientation, disability, religious conviction, income, race and gender, and the ad doesn’t mention any of these. ‘Professional unemployed’ might be considered discriminatory, but that is pretty far-fetched.”

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news