Gloucestershire Police could be the next force to face legal claims for positive discrimination in its recruitment practices, with failed applicants seeking legal advice and the local MP taking their case on, Personnel Today has learned.
Last week, Avon and Somerset Police paid out an undisclosed sum – thought to be in the region of £25,000 – to a male job applicant who was rejected because he was white. The force also scrapped its ‘positive action’ scheme, calling it “not appropriate”, and offered all failed applicants the chance to re-apply for a job.
The Avon and Somerset force rejected 186 white applicants because its workforce was “over-represented by white men”. It faces a bill of up to £4m if all those rejected on racial grounds come forward.
Now, Gloucestershire Police could face a similar bill if the 108 men who were “randomly deselected” from a recruitment drive bring claims. It was later revealed they were turned down in favour of ethnic minority candidates as the force struggled to hit diversity quotas set by the government.
One of the men rejected by Gloucestershire Police confirmed that he was talking to lawyers about a possible claim. “We have been to our MP and he is doing all he can, but I think it’s going to take legal action to put the real pressure on,” he told Personnel Today.
Parmjit Dhanda, the Labour MP for Gloucester, would not confirm how many other of his constituents had contacted him about the recruitment policy, as it was confidential.
A spokeswoman from Gloucestershire Police said that no legal claims had yet been lodged against the force as a result of the recruitment campaign. She said the force could not comment further due to an ongoing investigation by the Commission for Racial Equality.
For more on the Somerset case, go to personneltoday.com/34352.article