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HR tip: Lawful discrimination

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These questions are being answered by Learn HR, a market leader in the provision of HR and payroll training and nationally-recognised professional qualifications.


Question:
"We have a large number of Pakistanis in our workforce but no Pakistani supervisors, although we believe that some of them could perform well in that role if they were given training. Will we be breaking the law if we run a training course just for Pakistanis with supervisor potential?"

HR tip:
Your motivation is good, but take great care. First make known to everyone what you are doing and why. Then advertise for candidates for supervisor training and encourage your Pakistani workforce to apply. By all means talk to the ones you have identified as having potential and explain to them the benefits of applying.

However, if you then have to select a limited number from an applicant pool, be sure to apply the same criteria to them all, having made any necessary allowance for ethnic disadvantage such as use of English. You may encourage poorly represented groups, but not restrict opportunities to them.

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