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Positive Action

The Equality Act 2010 says employers can, in some situations, take steps to help certain disadvantaged groups access employment or training. This is called positive action.

What is positive action?

Positive action is when an employer takes steps to help or encourage certain groups of people with different needs, or who are under-represented or disadvantaged in some way, access work or training. For example, an employer could organise an open day for people from a particular ethnic background if they’re under-represented in the employer’s workforce. This wouldn’t be unlawful discrimination under the Act.

​Section 158 of the Equality Act 2010 allows employers to use the positive action general provisions giving individuals from under-represented groups the opportunity to access support and training, in preparation for and throughout the recruitment process, to overcome disadvantages when competing with others.

Positive action is often confused with positive discrimination. Positive action does not mean people will be recruited simply because of their gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation. This is ‘positive discrimination’ which is unlawful.


Our Diversity Strategy states:

  • North Yorkshire Police is committed to ensuring that all of the communities we serve and our staff and volunteers who deliver that service, have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.
  • We are committed to achieving the highest standards of service delivery, decision making and employment practice. Equality for our communities and for our workforce is an important part of this commitment.
  • By understanding the different needs of our communities and staff, this will improve engagement and provide both officers and staff with the skills to deliver a more confident and professional service.
  • Demonstrate positive action to recruit, retain and develop officers and staff from diverse communities.
  • Ensure our staff numbers to be reflective of the community we serve.


Who does it apply to?

Individuals with a protected characteristic who may suffer some sort of disadvantage because of that characteristic or are disproportionately under-represented. These characteristics include:

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


Our Positive Action Team

Our Positive Action team was setup in April 2017 with the aim to provide support to people across North Yorkshire from under-represented groups who are considering a career in policing.

The team includes Police Officers, PCSOs, Special Constables and Police Staff who act as positive role models, providing information and encouragement to interested applicants.

We regularly attend local events, schools, colleges, universities and provide support session and workshops when recruiting for Specials, PCSO and Police Officer roles.

Our Aim

North Yorkshire Police aim to recruit talented people with as diverse a range of skills and experience we can, which can make a real difference to all the communities that we serve.

Recruiting from the widest pool of people will mean we recruit individuals who can speak other languages, understand other cultural and minority groups, other lifestyles, religions and beliefs and are willing to use those skills to the benefit of the community and the organisation.  A more diverse workforce will build trust and confidence across communities, will improve engagement and sharing of information and provide both officers and staff with the skills to deliver a more confident and professional service.

North Yorkshire Police is currently under-represented from black and minority ethnic backgrounds including Eastern European and Chinese communities, from those with disability, from women and from the LGBTQ+ communities.

We are very keen to encourage applications from these groups and to support them through every stage of the process.

Our Support Networks

We are proud of our Inclusion & Diversity Network and the six individual support networks formed, each representing a protected characteristic, to provide support, assistance, information and guidance to both Police Officers and Police Staff and their families with both personal and professional issues. The networks providing support and help to these under-represented groups include:

  • Disability
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Gender
  • LGBTQ+
  • Neurodiversity (including dyslexia, Autism etc.)

Police Officer Support Sessions

Our latest recruitment drive to become a Police Officer is now open until 12pm on Thursday 30 November 2017. Click here to apply.

Our Positive Action team will be providing support sessions to applicants belonging to one or more of the protected characteristics (listed above). North Yorkshire Police is not yet fully representative and we are encouraging anyone from an under-represented group, to attend our support sessions.

In these sessions, you will have the chance in a relaxed environment to ask questions about the Police Officer role and application process. You may be unsure if the role is for you, have questions on eligibility, vetting, or just need more guidance on how you can improve your application.

Pre-Application Support Sessions are available on the following dates:

Date: Thursday 9 November @ 18:00 Location: Police Headquarters, Alverton Court, Northallerton DL6 1BF

Date: Tuesday 14 November @ 18:00 Location: Police Headquarters, Alverton Court, Northallerton DL6 1BF

Date: Thursday 16 November @ 18:00 Location: Police Headquarters, Alverton Court, Northallerton DL6 1BF

Date: Wednesday 22 November @ 18:00 Location: North Yorkshire Police, Athena House, Kettlestring Lane, York YO30 4XF

We will also be in attendance at:

Date: Tuesday 7 November @ 17:30 Location: Stephenson Lecture Theatre, Teesside University TS1 3BX

Date: TBC Location: York University

If you are interested in attending one of these events please email positiveaction@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk with your full name and date you wish to attend.