0370 270 6000

Positive action in recruitment and promotion – will your business use it?

18 April 2011

Employers can now lawfully treat one person more favourably than another when in connection with recruitment or promotion because they have a protected characteristic (although they are not obliged to).

This is, however, subject to a number of limitations and employers can only do so if the candidates are of equal merit. Employers will therefore have to ensure their rating criteria are capable of demonstrating this.

The employer is also required to ‘reasonably think’ that those with a protected characteristic are under-represented in the workforce or suffer a disadvantage connected to that characteristic. This must be supported by evidence.

The employer can only legally discriminate if to do so is a proportionate way of achieving the above aims.

Failure to demonstrate any of the above could lead to a claim for discrimination against the employer, which means, with so many uncertainties and only limited advantages, there is little business case for using the new powers.

Related opinions

Bill to establish an “Office of the Whistleblower”

Baroness Kramer has now introduced the Protection of Whistleblowing Bill as a Private Members’ Bill, starting in the House of Lords.

View blog

New mothers suffer a cumulative loss of income of £66,434 over the following decade

Independent think-tank, the Social Market Foundation (“SMF”), has launched a cross-party parliamentary commission on childcare and its implications for mothers.

View blog

New rules for Fit Notes

Where employees are absent from work due to sickness for more than 7 days, they need to provide reasonable medical evidence in respect of that absence for statutory sick pay purposes – this is most frequently satisfied through the provision of a Statement of Fitness for Work, otherwise known as a Fit Note.

View blog

80% hours for 100% pay? That’ll do nicely

As has been widely reported this week, some 3,000 UK workers are taking part in a six month trial to assess the viability of a four-day working week without any reduction in their normal pay.

View blog

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up