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Positive Action

You probably will have heard the term "Positive Action" before but have you ever wondered exactly what does it mean?

The Equality Act (2010) defines 9 protected characteristics:

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  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

Provision has been made under the Equality Act (2010) to enable employers to redress any imbalance of the makeup of their workforce, this is referred to as “Positive Action”.

Positive Action is:

  • Positive action' refers to a range of measures and initiatives that employers can lawfully take to actively encourage individuals from under-represented groups to apply - as well as supporting them through the selection process.
  • The selection procedure itself is no different and must be based solely on merit. 'Positive action' does not seek to remove competition for jobs and any initiative undertaken as 'positive action' stops before any part of the selection process.
  • If a particular group covered by the legislation listed above has been under represented within the workplace in the last 12 months, then these groups may be targeted and assistance given to encourage applications for employment.
  • Positive Action allows for targeted marketing campaigns to encourage interest in a career with Cornwall Fire, Rescue and Community Safety (CFRCS) Service. It also allows for the provision of training and guidance to under-represented groups within the community prior to application for employment.
  • Positive Action is aimed at individuals who are from an under-represented group covered by the legislation listed above.
  • CFRCS Service is commitment to attracting applicants from diverse backgrounds extends to all of its positions - both operational and non-operational posts. For this reason we market our career opportunities using a variety of methods and media.

Positive Action is not:

  • Positive Action is often confused with Positive Discrimination. Positive Discrimination generally means employing someone because they come from an under-represented group in spite of whether they have the relevant skills and qualifications. Positive discrimination is unlawful; CFRCS Service treats all applicants equally.
  • Positive Action does not mean lowering or diluting standards to help under-represented groups pass our stringent entry requirements. This initiative ensures that only the best applicants are successful, irrespective of their race and/or gender.

Positive Action makes sense because:

  • As an Equal Opportunities employer, we are duty bound to ensure that our workforce represents the community in which we work and this can be achieved using Positive Action.
  • Having the broadest pool of applicants helps us to ensure that we will get the best candidate for the right job.
  • A diverse workforce has a broad range of experiences and skills that we can draw upon to deliver our services more effectively. 
  • A workforce that reflects the communities we serve makes us more approachable.
  • There is now a steady interest from the identified under-represented groups who are thinking about firefighting as a career.

Positive Action in practice:

  • CFRCS Service aims to hold Positive Action initiatives, such as information sessions for under-represented groups, prior to the commencement of a on-call firefighter or wholetime firefighter recruitment campaign.

For more information, visit our page on Awareness Events.