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Take Action #1 / Unconscious prejudice – time for positive practices?

Posted on: June 18th, 2020 by Ginny Hallam

As we saw with #MeToo, we’re experiencing further cultural change which is likely to filter into working environments. The Black Lives Matter campaign highlights yet again the need for positive action around diversity. The ‘time to speak up’ is likely to mean employees feel they have a greater voice and power to address issues.

It’s likely that you’ve thought, discussed or planned to address imbalance of under-represented groups within your business, but if you look around have you been successful? Is there still unconscious prejudice at play? Do you need to take a more disrupting approach to equality? Is it really on your agenda?

Throughout this ‘Take Action’ series, we’ll be talking about some of the approaches you could take not only to present a more culturally contemporary approach to employment, but also reduce the possibility of a successful employment tribunal claim.

One approach you’re able to take is to positively address demographic imbalance by recruiting individuals from under-represented groups.

If you want to recruit an individual from an underrepresented group to address an imbalance, remember:

  1. You need clear evidence of an imbalance
  2. You are only able to favour a candidate because of a protected characteristic (like sex or race) if you can show that they are equally qualified as the next best candidate
  3. You can show that you’ve considered alternatives to your decision to positively discriminate
  4. That your approach to recruitment of under-represented groups is proportionate to the challenge you’re trying to overcome

Decisions and conversations involving protected characteristics are certainly challenging. Securing the right support and advice is key to achieving the right outcome, while minimising risk. We can support your with an unlimited advice resource to help with these challenges – click here to find out how. 


This update is accurate on the date it was sent (18 June 2020), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.