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“For our shop in Wassenaar are we looking for an enthusiastic part-time (junior) shop assistant with immediate effect. The position is for 8 hours a week. Age as from 21 years.”

Most employers will probably be aware that it is not allowed to indicate in a vacancy that they are only looking for candidates within a certain age category. Direct discrimination on grounds of age is prohibited.

However, also a vacancy text asking for a junior employee with up to three years of working experience provides prohibited discrimination on the basis of age if the employer has no good reason to justify this. The recruitment of a junior employee with a maximum number of years of working experience is to the detriment of older people.

If a vacancy text explicitly asks for students, school leavers or starters, this can also constitute prohibited discrimination on the basis of age. This is because most students, school leavers and starters are younger than other people in the labour market.

Age distinction is allowed if (in brief) there is an objective justification.

It is, therefore, allowed to open up vacancies specifically for young people from 18 to 27 years if this is in the context of tackling youth unemployment. In that case, the vacancy should explicitly state the following:

“This is a vacancy for young people from 18 to 27 years in connection with ‘Tackling youth unemployment’.”

In case of possible discrimination on the basis of age, an opinion may be requested from the Commission of Human Rights.

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