The UK government’s Equality Bill is rapidly changing the approach to equality in the workplace. This extends previous legislation which, in addition to requiring public authorities to promote equal opportunities, provides support for specific types of positive action. However, there continues to be a level of confusion, misinterpretation and sometimes suspicion of positive action. In general, this has resulted in an apparent reluctance to use positive action to promote representational diversity in the workplace. This is compounded by limited empirical evidence on its use. NHS Employers (the employers’ organisation for the National Health Service) in partnership with Bradford University Centre for Diversity and Inclusion collaborated on a project to establish where positive action is being used in the NHS and the key factors associated with its successful application. The work involved 20 NHS organisations in England and employed a mixed method of qualitative research including in-depth interviews, a mapping exercise and focus groups. This paper describes the methodology adopted in the study and some of the positive action initiatives employed. Key factors for making positive action a success are identified and recommendations are made which will have relevance for future policy direction.
|Keywords:||Equal Opportunities, NHS, Positive Action, Critical Success Factors|
Health of Equalities and Diversity, Equalities and Diversity, NHS Employers, UK
Professor / Director, Centre for Inclusion and Diversity, School of Health Studies, University of Bradford, Bradford, West Yorkshire, UK
Senior Lecturer in Diversity and Organisational Behaviour, Centre for Inclusion and Diversity, University of Bradford, Bradford, West Yorkshire, UK
Equality and diversity manager, Equalities and Diversity, NHS Employers, UK
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