London, Mar.17 : White men could be stopped from getting jobs under controversial government plans to allow employers to hire ethnic minority and female candidates ahead of them.
According to The Telegraph, Harriet Harman, the Minister for Women, has launched a consultation into proposals to scrap current laws that ban employers from taking race or sex into consideration when interviewing job candidates.
The measure involves giving employers the right to take race or sex into consideration when choosing between candidates with exactly the same qualifications.
The proposed change in the law could also affect universities, allowing them to select more female students in subjects areas such as the sciences where men have traditionally dominated.
Critics insisted these decisions were already being taken by employers and recruitment officers keen to boost numbers of women and ethnic minorities.
However, Miss Harman is said to believe radical action is needed to help all disadvantaged members of the community gain their full potential.
Ann Widdecombe, the Conservative MP, said this law would be detrimental because it suggests that women and members of ethnic minorities need special treatment.
Katherine Rake of the Fawcett Society that campaigns for equal pay, said it was unclear how Harman's proposals would stand up in court.