New approach to positive action on recruitment takes effect
Employers now have new rights to take positive action when looking at candidates for recruitment and promotion.
The aim is to help create a greater diversity in the workplace, but there are strict controls.
The new rules, effective from 6th April, mean that if all else is equal, an employer can select a candidate who has what is described as a ‘protected characteristic’.
However, such candidates must be of equal merit to others in the selection process. The employer must also be able to show that people with that particular characteristic are under-represented in the workforce or suffer a disadvantage because of that characteristic.
These characteristics are:
- gender reassignment
- massiage and civil partnership
- pregnancy and maternity
- race, ethnic or national origin, color and nationality
- religion/belief or lack of any religion/belief
- sexual orientation
Employers will only be able to take such positive action if it is a proportionate way of addressing an under-representation. They will not be able to choose a less suitable candidate simply because they have a protected characteristic.
Please contact us if you would like more information about this or any aspect of employment law.