I recently saw an advertisement for a babysitting job which specified that applicants must be female.

Is this illegal under UK law?

2 Answers 2



Probably ...

Sex is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010 and is therefore not something upon which an employer can discriminate. https://www.gov.uk/discrimination-your-rights/types-of-discrimination

However, there are a number of exemptions and while I am not familiar with the specific jurisdiction I would be very surprised if one did not include a choice of the gender of a carer in a one-on-one babysitting job.

  • If you have applicants for a baby sitting job, you can always reject the male applicants because you don't like their hair style. Which makes any illegal discrimination very, very hard to prove.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Jun 9, 2016 at 11:02

No, not necessarily. They may have at least one female child who needs very intimate care. Therefore insisting that all applicants be female is an express exemption to the Equality Act 2010.

  • Is this a reference to clause 1(1) in Schedule 9 ('Work: exceptions') or some other more specific provision? Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 13:36
  • I'm not sure unfortunately. Commented Jan 12, 2019 at 18:33

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