Equal Opportunities FAQs

Are there rules covering sexual discrimination when taking on an employee?

Yes there are. Jobs, training and promotion must be open to all regardless of sex, marital status or to anyone undergoing or who has undergone gender reassignment. Also, men and women must get the same pay for the same or like work and for work of equal value.

Discrimination is unlawful in all but a few cases, for instance where a person’s sex is a genuine occupational qualification for a job (for example for reasons of privacy, decency or authenticity, e.g. modelling clothes, acting). For further information see:

  • Department for Education and Employment (DfEE) booklet: Sex Discrimination – A guide to the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 (PL 955 (Rev 1))
  • Department of Education and Employment (DfEE) booklet: A Guide to the Equal Pay Act (PL 743)
  • Department of Education and Employment (DfEE) booklet: A Guide to the Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations 1999 (PL 99 GR)
  • SBS Employment Rights Factsheet Sex Discrimination and Equal Pay (URN 00/958)
  • The Commission for Racial Equality guide Equal Opportunities is Your Business Too also has information about sexual discrimination, and is written specifically for small businesses

For further detailed enquiries about the Sex Discrimination and Equal Pay Acts contact the Equal Opportunities Commission.

For information and advice on equal opportunities legislation and best practice contact Equality Direct

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