0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

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

Employer not responsible for former employee’s data breach

The long-awaited Supreme Court decision has been published in the case of WM Morrison Supermarkets Plc v Various Claimants.

View blog

Updated Government advice for UK visa application and temporary UK residents

On Friday 27 March, the government updated its advice for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents.

View blog

New statutory sick pay regulations

The Statutory Sick Pay (Coronavirus) (Suspension of Waiting Days and General Amendment) Regulations 2020 have now been published and came into force on 28 March 2020.

View blog

Coronavirus and annual leave

Regulations have now been published allowing employees to carry forward 4 weeks of their statutory annual leave entitlement but the circumstances in which such leave can be carried forward are limited.

View blog

mailing list sign up



Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up