If your organisation doesn’t have one, you can use this checklist to see if you meet the criteria to use a special measure. Document your process so your organisation can use it in the future.

Our checklist doesn’t cover everything. If in doubt, speak with your HR or legal teams.

As you go through this checklist, you must document your evidence.

This is so you can justify your use of a special measure if someone makes a complaint.

To help you with this checklist, review the Equal Opportunity Act 2010.

As some of the language in the Act is complex, get advice from your legal team.

Step 1: identify the group and protected attribute

Is the special measure for a group of people who share one or more of these protected attributes from Section 6 of the Equal Opportunity Act 2010?

  • age
  • breastfeeding
  • employment activity
  • gender identity
  • disability
  • industrial activity
  • lawful sexual activity
  • marital status
  • parental status or status as a carer
  • physical features
  • political belief or activity
  • pregnancy
  • race
  • religious belief or activity
  • sex
  • sexual orientation
  • an expunged homosexual conviction
  • personal association (whether as a relative or otherwise) with a person who is identified by reference to any of the above attributes

Would you describe the special measure as any form of discrimination as described in Part 4 of the Equal Opportunity Act 2010?

Step 2: confirm why you’re using a special measure

Is your special measure to promote or realise substantive equality for members of the group you have identified?

What is the nature of inequality the group currently experiences?

How will using a special measure assist in reducing that inequality or disadvantage?

Is the special measure for more than one purpose? If so, how do the purposes interact or overlap? Is one more important to your organisation than the other?

Will you use the special measure to design a hiring pathway program?

If the special measure is for hiring, when will you use it in the hiring process?

Are you using the special measure for shortlisting candidates or selecting someone for the role?

Step 3: check your special measure is proportionate

Has the special measure been designed to achieve only the purpose you intend or will there be other outcomes?

How do any other outcomes relate to the purpose?

Does your special measure go too far in over-representing a group?

Step 4: show the need

How will the special measure help address the inequality experienced by members of the group?

How do you know the group has inequality?

Are there statistics, studies or reports which explain the inequality and cause?

Has your organisation seen or had an experience that demonstrates the inequality?

Have you run a pilot or has a similar organisation shown that a special measure will help achieve the purpose?