Positive discrimination

Positive discrimination is generally unlawful in the UK. For example, an employer recruiting a person because he or she has a relevant protected characteristic rather than because he or she is the best candidate would be committing discrimination under the Equality Act 2010. It is also unlawful to set quotas to recruit or promote a specific number or proportion of people with a particular protected characteristic.

There are limited circumstances in which it is lawful to require a job applicant or worker to have a particular protected characteristic, for example where an occupational requirement applies. Equality and Human Rights Commission guidance gives the example of a women’s refuge requiring all members of staff to be women.

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


Positive discrimination: Positive contribution to the debate discovered online

24 Sep 2007

I’ve just discovered Tony Pettengell’s piece ‘Why positive discrimination is a positively stupid idea’ via a Google search, and wanted...

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Environment Agency in positive discrimination row over training programme closed to white English people

6 Aug 2007

Campaigners will this week ask the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) to freeze an Environment Agency training programme which white...

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Positive discrimination coverage: reader feedback

22 May 2007

Our recent coverage on positive discrimination – especially when the Metropolitan Police HR director came out in support of it (Personnel...

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Ucatt general secretary Alan Ritchie backs use of positive discrimination to boost diversity in construction industry

21 May 2007

Employers in the construction industry should be allowed to use positive discrimination to improve diversity in their workforce, the head...

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National Black Police Association web poll finds majority of members are against positive discrimination

9 May 2007

National Black Police Association (NBPA) president Keith Jarrett has insisted that his members do support his call for positive discrimination, despite a...

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Why positive discrimination is a positively stupid idea

8 May 2007

Positive discrimination is a positively stupid idea, and would only breed resentment.

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HR director backs positive discrimination for police

1 May 2007

EXCLUSIVEMetropolitan Police HR director Martin Tiplady has backed calls for positive ­discrimination in the police force – despite admitting it...

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Police chiefs deny discussing positive discrimination but admit to talking about talks

19 Apr 2007

Police chiefs have denied discussing the prioritisation of black and female job applicants – insisting they had only met to...

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Government report sparks employer fears of US-style positive discrimination quotas

9 Jan 2007

Business leaders fear that US-style mandatory positive discrimination is on its way to the UK in the wake of a...

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Phillips’ work discrimination proposal is positively barmy

9 Jan 2007

I read in horror the proposals of Trevor Phillips to urge the government to change equalities laws to increase areas...

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Trevor Phillips’ push for positive discrimination dismissed as unworkable by business

8 Dec 2006

Diversity tsar Trevor Phillips’ bid for positive discrimination to be legalised has been dismissed by businesses.
Phillips, head of the...

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Positive race discrimination row: The end justifies the means

18 Jul 2006

The spectre of positive discrimination being allowed in the UK has moved a step closer, with the head of an influential new government advisory body calling for changes to the law.

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CRE lets police off hook over positive discrimination

27 Jun 2006

The Commission for Racial Equality has taken no action against Avon and Somerset police, despite concluding that the force was guilty of unlawful discrimination

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Home Office rules out positive discrimination

18 Apr 2006

The Home Office has rejected calls from chief police officers to be allowed to use positive discrimination in the drive to recruit more officers from ethnic minorities

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Positive discrimination just leads to resentment

24 Jan 2006

I refer to your front page article in the 10 January issue of Personnel Today.Surely I am not the only...

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