Police Force Guilty Of Discrimination Against 'White, Heterosexual Male', Finds Tribunal
A police force that rejected a 'well prepared' potential recruit has been found guilty of discrimination after he was refused the job 'because he was a white, heterosexual male'.
Matthew Furlong, 25, wanted to follow in his father's footsteps at Cheshire Police but now the force has become the first organisation in the UK to be found guilty of using positive action to discriminate.
After successfully making it through the interview stage of the process, Matthew said he was told that 'it was refreshing to meet someone as well prepared as yourself' and that he 'could not have done any more'.
But, reports the Metro, he was then told that he had lost out on the job to other candidates, prompting his dad to make a complaint after his son failed to tick diversity boxes.
Now, Cheshire Police has been found guilty of discrimination at an employment tribunal on the grounds of sexual orientation, race and sex.
Matthew's lawyers at Slater and Gordon said that it's the first case of its kind in this country where 'positive action' - attempting to recruit a diverse workforce - has been used in a discriminatory way.
Jennifer Ainscough, an employment lawyer at Slater and Gordon told the Metro: "Matthew was denied his dream job simply because he was a white, heterosexual male.
"This is the first reported case of its kind in the UK where positive action has been used in a discriminatory way.
"Matthew's courage in speaking out will hopefully ensure it is the last. Had he not been such an exceptional candidate he may not even have suspected anything was wrong and this unlawful and unacceptable selection process may have been allowed to continue.
"Positive action is an important tool to support a diverse workforce that reflects the community in which we live.
"However it must be applied lawfully to ensure the highest calibre of candidates are recruited regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation and to ensure standards in police forces are maintained to properly protect our society."
The tribunal, which was held in Liverpool, ruled that while positive action can be used to boost diversity, it should only be applied to distinguish between candidates who were all equally well qualified for a role.
The force claimed to have interviewed 127 candidates who were equally as suitable for the role of police constable - something which the tribunal ruled was a 'fallacy'.
The case has been adjourned for a remedy hearing and in a statement to LADbible, a spokesperson for Cheshire Police said: "We have been notified of the outcome of the tribunal and will review the findings over the coming days."
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