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Jobseeker 'wrongly attired'

PUBLISHED: 14:39 05 March 2009 | UPDATED: 13:14 03 July 2010

A jobseeker has claimed she was discriminated against on the basis of her looks when applying for a post at a Great Yarmouth bingo hall.

Lisa Weston, from Ormesby St Margaret, says she and four other applicants were taken aside and told they had not made it to the interview stage because of their appearance after applying for the post of bingo club assistant at Palace Bingo Club in Church Plain.

A jobseeker has claimed she was discriminated against on the basis of her looks when applying for a post at a Great Yarmouth bingo hall.

Lisa Weston, from Ormesby St Margaret, says she and four other applicants were taken aside and told they had not made it to the interview stage because of their appearance after applying for the post of bingo club assistant at Palace Bingo Club in Church Plain.

It upset the 23-year-old who said she felt “worthless and degraded” after making an effort to look smart.

But Palace manager Jonus King said how people dressed for an interview was an inevitable part of the selection process and that those who were not considered appropriately attired were told “as politely as possible” their services were not needed.

“If you get invited for interview you would be expected to make an effort and get appropriately dressed. They had not,” he said.

Mr King added that well over 200 people had applied for the bingo club assistant job and that two full-time people had been taken on, on a trial basis.

Former benefit claim processor Miss Weston, who has been unemployed since September, said she had responded to an advert in the Yarmouth Advertiser on February 19 asking for enthusiastic and ambitious people. She was told to attend an interview session last Friday but was not given details of a dress code. The advert listed being polite and friendly, of a kind disposition and a real people person as the most important qualities.

On arrival she was handed information about the job and hours and shortly afterwards she and four others were lead to an office where they were told they did not look the part.

She said: “I understand to go to an interview applicants should dress appropriately for the standard of the job but as I and many of the others there had been unemployed for a while we are unable to provide immaculate clothes for a job involving cleaning and washing up.

“I felt a suit may have been over the top so I dressed in smart black trousers, smart black shoes and a smart jumper as well as being groomed.

“I feel we were discriminated against regarding looks. I would understand more if time had been taken to look at our CVs or application forms, but neither of these were asked for and nor did they take our names. I felt so humiliated. If I had not been so shocked I would have said something. I got a lift there with my friend but I did not tell him until I got home.”

Mr King said CVs were not generally asked for. Miss Weston added it was galling that a lot of capable people including herself had been passed over for the wrong reasons.

Having worked in customer service for the Job Centre and in holiday parks Miss Weston said she was more than qualified for the role but never got the chance to promote her skills, adding: “Its not as if I've got two heads or anything.” She intends to take the matter further.

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