Is this employment policy at my work reasonable? **Title edited by MNHQ**

(344 Posts)
MissRabbitsDayOff Tue 04-May-21 19:12:11

Name change. Long-term poster. This might sound goady but I'm just trying to see what people think about the following policy at my workplace.

At interviews, all candidates are given a score based on how well they do. In the rare event of a tie between a white person and a person from an ethnic minority background, the job will be offered to the person from the ethnic minority background to increase diversity.

YABU - The policy is unreasonable.
YANBU - The policy is not unreasonable.

OP’s posts: |
StoneofDestiny Tue 04-May-21 19:13:41


StoneofDestiny Tue 04-May-21 19:14:27

Put in gender as the difference and how do you think that reads?

romdowa Tue 04-May-21 19:15:30

It's called positive discrimination and its actually sad that policies like this even have to exist but they are necessary, it's the same with encouraging companies to hire people with disabilities

DropDTuning Tue 04-May-21 19:16:01

I am middle eastern/ashkenazi jewish so I don't know if you would count me as white or not. Some do, some don't. I don't look very white, but I'm not brown or black either.

I think the policy is fine. But I'd like to see some evidence of it actually being used.

OrrAppleCheeks Tue 04-May-21 19:16:12

Why is it outrageous?

MapGirlExtraordinaire Tue 04-May-21 19:17:02

On the assumption its a workplace or industry where non white people are currently under represented then this is a fair, legal and IMO right policy to have in place.

Once we've got parity across a majority of industries, at all levels of seniority, then this sort of policy will no longer be needed. I look forward to that being the case.

The same applies for other imbalances, eg sex, disability and others

Iheartbed Tue 04-May-21 19:17:03

If that’s in writing in the company policy then I think they’re heading for legal trouble as you can’t discriminate on the basis on race

ilovesooty Tue 04-May-21 19:17:19

Is it written down in those terms? You can be white and from a minority background.

Seainasive Tue 04-May-21 19:17:27

I don’t actually think that this is unreasonable. Due to unconscious bias, the minority candidate would probably have had to perform better than the white candidate to get the same score.

MissRabbitsDayOff Tue 04-May-21 19:17:32

It's called positive discrimination

Technically, it's positive action as it's only in the event of a tie (positive discrimination is illegal). I don't have an issue with it but am trying to work out whether it's controversial.

OP’s posts: |
CavernousScream Tue 04-May-21 19:18:02

I think it would be super rare for that to actually be applied. But all they’re doing is making up for the fact that unconscious bias probably resulted in the ethnic minority candidate scoring lower than they would have done if they were white. So they’re probably appointing the better candidate.

Hotcuppatea Tue 04-May-21 19:18:02

It depends on the situation where you work. Where I am, the entire executive board is male and white. They need to take drastic action to change that and this kind of positive action should be happening there.

What's the diversity situation like where you work?

HunterHearstHelmsley Tue 04-May-21 19:18:06

If I interviewed for a job, as a white woman, and was told I didn't get it purely because I'm white then I would make a complaint.

I'd expect an extra stage of the interview.

HermioneWeasley Tue 04-May-21 19:18:11

It’s unlawful discrimination- you can take positive action to level the playing field, but you can’t make a choice to offer a job based on race.

paralysedbyinertia Tue 04-May-21 19:18:12

I'm white (and currently jobhunting, if it makes any difference). If there is a specific imbalance that they are trying to address, and all other things are genuinely equal, I would be happy to accept this. People of colour have faced so much disadvantage, I'm happy to see organisations trying to level the playing field. What else are they going to do - toss a coin?

Bramblebutter Tue 04-May-21 19:18:31

Is that what affirmative action means? As a white person, I'd be gutted to not get the job, but I have enough white guilt to let it go. However, I do wonder how the POC would feel if they knew that's what broke the tie, I would assume they'd be pretty offended?

Motnight Tue 04-May-21 19:18:42

Fairly certain that this is illegal

FelicityBeedle Tue 04-May-21 19:18:53

Perfectly reasonable positive discrimination tactic, presumably all relevant attributes for the job are scored so it would be decided on something insignificant otherwise. My only issue is that you say it’s a rare circumstance, is this just lip service and the company does nothing else to address misbalances ?

PicsInRed Tue 04-May-21 19:19:10

That sounds like a policy a white person came up with.

flashbac Tue 04-May-21 19:19:32

This is from The Equality Act. In practice never happens as scores are subjective anyway and how many panels follow stuff like this in all honesty?

Palavah Tue 04-May-21 19:19:35

Well it is controversial. But that doesn't mean it's not reasonable.

devildeepbluesea Tue 04-May-21 19:19:43

It's positive action, and perfectly legal provided the organisation is making a genuine attempt to redress their ethnicity balance.

jellybellydancer Tue 04-May-21 19:19:46

Why are only white people allowed an opinion on this thread?

Aprilx Tue 04-May-21 19:19:53

This is known as positive action in the workplace and it is legal.

Another way to look at it is that if two candidates are tied in every other way, then on the basis that diversity is good for an organisation, the candidate that increases diversity edges ahead.

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