You may have heard the term 'positive action' before and wonder what it means?
Positive action is a legally acceptable way of encouraging and increasing the number of applications for employment from those in under-represented groups within the local community.
Under the Equality Act 2010, employers can attempt to address imbalances of groups that they can evidence are under-represented within the workforce.
Positive action at Kent Fire and Rescue Service
As an Equal Opportunities employer, we strive to ensure our workforce represents the community in which we work, and positive action enables us to achieve this.
Kent Fire and Rescue Service is committed to equality, ensuring that our recruitment is targeted to encourage applications from across our diverse community. A workforce that is diverse, ensures we demonstrate our approachability to those in our community.
If a particular group, covered by the Equality Act 2010, is or has been under-represented in the workplace within the previous 12 months, then an employer can focus recruitment efforts on these groups and provide assistance and information to encourage applications for employment.
Positive action allows an employer to create targeted marketing and recruitment campaigns to generate interest in a career within the fire and rescue service. It enables an employer to provide training information and guidance to under-represented groups prior to any application for employment being submitted. This is in addition to the similar general training or guidance provided to the wider population in a community.
Since Kent Fire and Rescue Service has a substantially higher proportion of white male firefighters, positive action initiatives seek to encourage applications for operational roles from women and those people from minority ethnic groups.
We are committed to attracting the best candidates from all backgrounds to ensure we can represent our community within our workforce.
Positive action is not positive discrimination
Positive discrimination is unlawful under current legislation and could involve giving some candidates an unfair advantage in the recruitment process, such as lowering the entry requirements. Kent Fire and Rescue Service does not adopt this type of initiative to recruit.
Positive action does not mean lowering or diluting standards to help under-represented groups to pass our tests and meet our role-specific entry requirements. We only select the best candidates based on their performance, skills and merit.