What Is an
Affirmative Action Plan?

An affirmative action plan (AAP) refers to actions and measures implemented within an organization to eliminate discrimination and reduce inequalities suffered by a group of people or individuals by temporarily granting them preferential advantages during a recruitment process.

Why Implement an Affirmative Action Plan?

An affirmative action plan allows companies to eliminate discrimination and inequalities related to their recruitment process. It promotes equal opportunities for candidates and allows companies to be proactive in creating a work environment open to diversity.

Some countries oblige companies to put in place affirmative action plans in order to reduce inequalities.

How to Set Up an Affirmative Action Plan?

Companies wishing to implement an affirmative action plan must ensure that the following conditions are met:

  • A salient inequality must be repaired.
  • Eliminating the inequality is part of an objective to be promoted.
  • The affirmative action plan is temporary.
  • The affirmative action plan is proportionate to the objective to be achieved and does not unnecessarily restrict the rights of others.

If these conditions are present, a company can decide to put in place an affirmative action plan in order to repair an inequality. This plan may have to be approved by the responsible bodies according to the legislation in place.

What Should an Affirmative Action Plan Contain?

An affirmative action plan generally contains the following information:

  • Evidence related to the existence of inequality.
  • Description of the objective and effect of the affirmative action plan.
  • The estimated duration.
  • Demonstration that the positive actions are proportional and appropriate in relation to the objective pursued.
  • Ensuring that the measures do not unnecessarily restrict the rights of others.

What Is the Difference Between an Affirmative Action Plan and Positive Discrimination?

The term positive discrimination refers to a affirmative action plan. However, its use is discouraged since the term “discrimination” has a negative connotation.

Discrimination, positive or negative, is contrary to equality.

Who Benefits from an Affirmative Action Plan?

Individuals who benefit from an affirmative action plan generally belong to groups of people who are often discriminated against such as women, visible minorities, and people with disabilities.

What Are the Benefits of an Affirmative Action Plan?

The benefits of implementing an affirmative action plan include:

  • Promoting diversity within a company.
  • Eliminate discrimination and inequalities in organizational practices.
  • Broaden the pool of candidates.
  • Ensure the well-being of employees.

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