Positive action is about taking specific steps to improve equality in your workplace. For example, to increase the number of disabled people in senior roles in which they are currently under-represented.
It can be used to meet a group’s particular needs, lessen a disadvantage they might experience or increase their participation in a particular activity.
You must be able to show that positive action is an appropriate way for your organisation to achieve one of these aims and the steps you are taking have been carefully thought through.
Using positive action at work is voluntary. However, public sector employers should consider using positive action to help them comply with their Public Sector Equality Duty.
Employers who use positive action measures may find it brings benefits to their organisation, including a wider pool of talented, skilled and experienced people from which to recruit and a better understanding of the needs of a more diverse range of customers.
Six examples of positive action
- placing job adverts to target particular groups, to increase the number of applicants from that group
- including statements in job adverts to encourage applications from under-represented groups, such as ‘we welcome female applicants’
- offering training or internships to help certain groups get opportunities or progress at work
- offering shadowing or mentoring to groups with particular needs
- hosting an open day specifically for under-represented groups to encourage them to get into a particular field
- favouring the job candidate from an under-represented group, where two candidates are ‘as qualified as’ each other
Please see chapter 12 of our employer code of practice for more information on positive action.
Last updated: 27 Mar 2019