In what circumstances do the positive action in recruitment and promotion provisions apply?

The positive action in recruitment and promotion provisions apply only where the employer that intends to take positive action reasonably thinks that people who share a protected characteristic suffer a disadvantage connected to that characteristic, or that they are under-represented in the workforce.

Other specific conditions (in s.159(4) of the Equality Act 2010) must also be met, namely:

  • the chosen candidate must be "as qualified as" other candidate(s) for recruitment or promotion;
  • the employer must not have a policy of treating people with the particular protected characteristic more favourably in connection with recruitment or promotion than those who do not; and
  • the more favourable treatment must be a proportionate means of achieving the aim of overcoming or minimising the disadvantage, or encouraging participation.