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Men 'new victims of sex bias in job hunt': Complaints rise as males apply for low-paid work

MEN are the new victims of discrimination as companies increasingly reject their applications for 'women's work', according to the Equal Opportunities Commission.

Reporting a 'surge' in casework of all kinds, officials at the commission yesterday also disclosed that 40 per cent of complaints about recruitment policies now came from men. The recession had killed off thousands of full-time jobs dominated by men who were being forced to apply for low-paid, part-time and temporary jobs normally held by women.

Frank Spencer, commission operations director, said that men aged 55-60 had been particularly badly affected by discrimination.

The commission's annual report, published yesterday, points out that the British economy is heavily reliant on part-timers, more than 80 per cent of whom are women. Of 13 million women in the European Community who were employed part-time in 1990, a third worked in the UK.

The report warns that inadequate employment protection suffered by part-timers is likely to get worse because of fragmentation of collective bargaining and compulsory competitive tendering.

The report shows a 'surge' in complaints about workplace sex discrimination. More than 13,300 complaints were received - a 47 per cent rise.

Women's economic contribution is not being recognised by improvements in their terms and conditions of work, the report says.