Sex Discrimination Act 1975 To Be Amended To Implement EU Directives


The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 is to be amended to implement both the EU Gender Directive and certain aspects of the EU Equal Treatment Amendment Directive.

The Gender Directive (2004/113) implements the principle of equal treatment between women and men in the access to and the supply of good and services which are available to the Public. Although the Gender Directive does not explicitly cover employment, the Discrimination Law Review which sets out the Government's proposals for a Single Equality Bill covers the UK's proposed implementation. The Directive requires some amendments to the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 which will be done by amending Regulations. The deadline for implementation is 21 December 2007.

The Government proposes to:

extend the Directive-based definition of indirect discrimination as it currently applies to goods, facilities or services and premises;

introduce an express prohibition on harassment and sexual harassment in the field of goods, facilities or services and premises

apply the Directive's burden of proof provisions to goods, facilities or services and premises, in line with that for employment and vocational training;

extend protection against direct discrimination on grounds of a person's gender reassignment to goods, facilities or services and premises;

extend protection against discrimination on grounds of pregnancy and provide protection on grounds of maternity in the field of goods, facilities or services and premises; and

amend the Sex Discrimination Act exception relating to insurance to specify the circumstances under which insurance companies may charge different premiums or offer different benefits to men and women.

Draft regulations have been published and these can be found on the Department for Communities and Local Government website.

Amendments which were expected to come into force covering employment aspects of the Equal Treatment Amendment Directive (2002/73), which were not...

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