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Gloucestershire Business News

Salon owner receives apology over happy ad refusal

The Department of Work and Pensions has apologised for a job centre advert being refused because the word happy was discriminatory.

Alison Birch, who runs AJ's Unisex hair salon in Stroud, included the phrase "only happy, friendly stylist need apply" when she advertised for a new hairdresser.

As reported at Punchline-Gloucester.com yesterday, she was told the advert could not be accepted because it discriminated against people who are not happy.

Job ad falls foul in pursuit of happiness 

But the DWP has now admitted the decision was a mistake.

A DWP spokesperson said: "We mistakenly advised a customer to amend a job advert but have since offered to repost the original copy and apologised for the error."

Mrs Birch said she and fellow stylist Claire Young were looking for someone cheerful after the death of a colleague to cancer during lockdown.

"In this day and age with COVID worrying us all, our customers really need to see happy smiling eyes," she said.

"Our eyes are all they can see while we have to wear masks and visors so I don't think there is anything terribly wrong in advertising for someone of a happy disposition."

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