A PROPERTY maintenance firm called HandyMen could miss out on a Covid business grant after being accused of gender discrimination.
Boss James Squire-Wood, 23, says council officials have recommended blocking his application for £1,000 aid.
‘Handymen’ could miss out on a Covid business grant due to gender dicriminationCredit: SWNS:South West News Service
The Independent Traders Contribution Fund is designed to help firms through lockdown, and the application is one of two set to be knocked back by a council — with HandyMen’s due to “gender discrimination”.
A final decision is expected at a council meeting today.
HandyMen, set up in 1987, manages more than 2,000 properties and provides plumbing, electrical, gardening and cleaning services.
James said: “We’re not discriminating towards gender at all and that was never our intention.
‘IT’S A JUST A NAME’
“Even by definition, the word ‘handyman’ refers to any person and has nothing to do with gender.
“It’s just a name. We have females who work for us so it strikes me as someone attempting to be politically correct through interpreting this incorrectly.
“I don’t agree with [potentially] being denied this grant especially at the moment as it’s tough for businesses.
“We don’t have any reason to not be eligible, so if the only grounds is gender discrimination then we’re going to have to defend ourselves.”
The only other grant bid denied by Penarth council, South Wales, was from local artist Ivor Davies which was due to an incomplete application.
Councillor Liz Fahy said: “Sometimes businesses are asked for further information/clarification before their application is processed.
HandyMenUk have been asked for further information relating to the gender of their employees, once received the application will be further considered.”
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