Pets at Home defends intrusive ‘are you trans’ job question after viral tweet

Pets At Home job application

Pets at Home has defended questions on its job application form that require people to detail their gender, sexuality and if they are disabled.

On Sunday (30 April), a Twitter user shared a screenshot of the application page that included the questions “Do you consider yourself to have a disability?”, “sexual orientation” and “are you trans?”. 

The tweet quickly gained traction and now has more than 67,000 likes and been retweeted 3,000 times. 

“I love job hunting,” Rhys captioned the tweet, before adding: “I did not fake this, this is a real screenshot from a real application form that despite a million red flags, I am 100 per cent going to just lie on and submit and hope for the best.” 

The company, which supplies pet products, from food to medication, told PinkNews the questions are there to ensure it hires a diverse workforce.

Rhys did not name the business, instead describing the application as for a “a chain of pet shops”. 

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However, PinkNews found these were questions on the Pets at Home online job application form.

On its careers website, the retailers state all equality and diversity questions are confidential and removed from the application prior to being passed over to interviewers. 

The company adds that such questions are for the purposes of monitoring the number of colleagues and applicants who have protected characteristics, to ensure the “effectiveness of our policy and to meet legal requirements”.

However, trans users on Twitter branded the questions invasive and called them a “red flag”, with some expressing concern about how exactly the information is stored and who has access to it. 

Concerns were also raised about the questions being mandatory and, despite the fact applicants can select “prefer not to say”, people are worried replies would inadvertently rule them out of the running for the job. 

The questions as they appear on the Pets at Home career website (PinkNews)

“I don’t need my job to know my sexual orientation. That doesn’t impact my job at all,” one Twitter user wrote. 

Another said: “I wonder when, as part of this application process, this organisation will be adding an ‘are you planning on getting pregnant’ drop box.” 

In response to the viral tweet and ensuing reaction, a spokesperson for the company said: “At Pets at Home, we strive to break down barriers, attract and develop diverse talent and create a culture that allows everyone to be the best they can be, regardless of background, identity, sexuality or belief. 

“We incorporate diversity monitoring in our application forms to help us ensure that we are appealing to, and providing opportunities for, everyone, regardless of diverse characteristics. 

“We make clear that these answers are not visible to our recruitment teams, are aggregated anonymously and there is always an option to select ‘prefer not to say’.

“We deeply value a diverse workforce and actively ensure that candidates and colleagues feel welcome, supported and can realise their full potential.”