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Positive Action under the Equality Act 2010: The Case of Furlong v Chief Constable of Cheshire Police

In this short video, our Senior Consultant Pia Sanchez and Associate Pooja Dasgupta explain the mistakes to avoid when considering positive action, as illustrated by this employment tribunal decision.

There is very little domestic case law on positive action. The employment tribunal decision in Furlong v The Chief Constable of Cheshire Police  reminds employers that the ‘tie-breaker’ exemption should not be used as a blanket policy to favour underrepresented groups with shared protected characteristics in a recruitment selection process. Doing so would amount to unlawful discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.

In this video, Pia and Pooja discuss the following key issues for employers to consider:

  1. An employer must not set an artificially low threshold for the recruitment of underrepresented groups as a blanket policy
  2. Candidates’ overall suitability for the role should be based on a set of objective criteria (e.g. ability, competence, professional experience, qualifications, etc)
  3. The best candidate for the job should be selected
  4. Positive action must be a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim e.g. increasing diversity

If you would like to discuss any of the above issues in further detail or would like any guidance regarding positive action, and avoiding the potential pitfalls, please contact Senior Consultant Pia Sanchez or Associate Pooja Dasgupta, both of whom specialise in partnership and employment law issues for firms, partners, multi-national employers and senior executives. If you like this video, please do share it with your colleagues and contacts.