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Added 12 March 2024

Who is it for?

This is resource is for CEOs and frontline staff of homelessness organisations.

Why is it relevant

The positive action provisions in the Equality Act 2010 empower employers to make equitable decisions, which recognise that employees who share a protected characteristic may face challenges or difficulties not faced by employees without a protected characteristic.

It is important that employers understand both the opportunities and the limitations of positive action as where positive action unfairly disadvantages other groups it could amount to unlawful positive discrimination.

While positive action measures are led by employers rather than staff, it is helpful for frontline practitioners and managers to understand the scope of positive action and their rights within the workplace under the Equality Act 2010.


Positive action enables employers to take proportionate action that aims to reduce disadvantage, meet the different needs of protected groups and/or increase or encourage participation of protected groups in an activity.

Employers must have an established basis for taking positive action, be clear about what they are intending to achieve, and how they are intending to achieve it.

Positive action is voluntary. Employers may choose to use positive action to ensure that groups with a particular protected characteristic are not excluded or disadvantaged.

Frontline practitioners can support positive action through:

  • Supporting data gathering exercises to evidence need.
  • Supporting and promoting programmes of positive action

Talk To Us


Alex Smith

Senior National Practice Development Project Manager (Housing First Lead)

Alex is a Senior National Practice Development Project Manager leading Housing First England.