Controversial plans to allow employers to discriminate in favour of hiring ethnic minority job candidates have been branded unrealistic by senior employment figures.
The long-awaited Equality Bill, expected to come into force in 2010, will allow businesses to favour recruiting under-represented groups to their workforce if there was a choice between two equally qualified individuals, one from a minority group and one from an over-represented group.
Employment lawyers warned the plans would cause confusion in the workplace as to what constituted discrimination and what was deemed ‘positive action’ – the legal method of encouraging black and minority ethnic (BME) candidates to apply for roles. This would discourage employers from using the new rules for fear of discrimination claims.
Speaking exclusively to Personnel Today, HR director Guy Pink, at drug and alcohol treatment agency Addaction, dismissed the plans as ‘unrealistic’, because no two i