Positive action

Under the Equality Act 2010, positive action means action that is taken to encourage certain groups, for example women or people from a particular racial minority, to take advantage of opportunities for employment if the purpose is to tackle their underrepresentation in a particular field.

Positive action is permissible under the Equality Act 2010. Examples of positive action include stating in the advertisement that applications from women are particularly welcome and using types of media for advertising that are likely to be seen by members of a particular racial or religious group.

Positive action, which is lawful, should be distinguished from positive discrimination, which is unlawful.

Diversity, the final frontier: space agency seeks disabled astronaut

The European Space Agency (ESA) is seeking new astronauts for the first time in a decade and D&I is among its major goals.

Firms rush to boost diversity but some over-rely on training

4 Aug 2020

Experts report a surge of companies looking to improve D&I – but some see training as a 'silver bullet' while others' motivations are questionable.

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Top 10 HR questions April 2019: Maximum compensation, holiday entitlement and positive action

2 May 2019

The annual increase to the limits on compensation that can be awarded in an...

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Men are the winners in UAE gender balance awards

28 Jan 2019

The United Arab Emirates Gender Balance Index award winners have been announced – and they are all men, despite an...

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Eight ways to ensure diversity initiatives are fair

17 Oct 2016

After a BBC radio presenter claimed he was sacked for being a white man, is positive discrimination a fair solution...

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Matt Baker and Alex Jones on The One Show – A memo suggested a new reporter should be northern and from an ethnic minority. Photo: David Bebber/REX/Shutterstock

Practical ways to tackle diversity without positive action

14 Jun 2016

The BBC made headlines recently with claims it was favouring candidates from certain minorities and age groups. But if diversity...

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Ten notable facts about Puerto Rico labour law

12 Nov 2015

Employers in Puerto Rico must take account of both US federal and Puerto Rico labour law. This dual legal system...

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How employers can take positive action to increase workforce diversity

26 Aug 2015

To what extent can employers take positive action in recruitment or promotion to increase workforce diversity? Ashok Kanani reviews the...

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Women-only shortlists

Should the UK introduce women-only shortlists for board positions?

15 Apr 2014

The lack of women occupying top spots in UK business is in the spotlight again, as business secretary Vince Cable...

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Legal opinion: Flexible working and positive action for top judges

19 Dec 2011

Employment lawyer Linda Stewart looks at possible measures to improve judicial diversity.While the percentage of women and black, Asian and...

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Weekly dilemma: Positive action

13 Apr 2011

I’d like to provide more opportunities for women to work in my heavily male-dominated business, and I understand that new...

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Positive action provisions could have negative effect

8 Mar 2011

Positive action will enable employers to provide preferential treatment during the hiring process, but is this a good thing? Jackie...

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Legal Q&A: Positive action under the Equality Act 2010

3 Feb 2011

Q What is positive action?Positive action is one of the Government’s range of measures aimed at ending discrimination in the...

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Equality Act 2010: Government implements positive action provisions

20 Jan 2011

The Government has confirmed that provisions on positive action will be implemented on 6 April, under the Equality Act 2010.A...

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Government issues guidance on Equality Act positive action provisions

13 Jan 2011

The Government has published guidance for employers on how to deal with the Equality Act’s positive action provisions, and has...

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