Creating a fairer Britain
Directive 2004/113/EC implements the principle of equal treatment between men and women in the access to and supply of goods and services.
The Directive prohibits sex discrimination in goods and services. This includes:
The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 already applies to the provision of goods, facilities and services. The Government Equalities Office (GEO) website lists the 'main changes' needed to implement the Directive as follows:
1. The definition of gender harassment is expanded in the new Regulations and now provides for harassment 'related to her sex or that of another person'. You now only have to show the treatment was associated with the sex of the victim or any other person.
2. The legislation thus provides protection in the following scenarios:
3. Third party sexual/harassment from a customer or client. Employers will be liable for this if they fail to take reasonably practicable (proactive and reactive) steps to protect their employees where sexual/harassment is known to have happened on at least two occasions. The preconditions to liability are arguably in breach of European law.
4. NB The individual's perception counts: the law allows for different perceptions and the fact that some may find offence where others do not. Cases nonetheless depend on whether, in all the circumstances, a reasonable person would have found the conduct offensive, demeaning, etc.
1. The definition of harassment and sexual harassment for transgender discrimination is unaltered and is on the grounds of intention to undergo, undergoing, having undergone gender reassignment. As in point 4 above, the 'reasonableness test' applies.
2. The amendment provides protection in goods, facilities, services and premises (Ss29, 30, 31 SDA), subject to the general exceptions to the SDA.
3. NB There is no protection for transgender discrimination in Education. (There is however protection against trans discrimination under SDA Part 2 Employment Field for vocational training).
1. The Regulations have removed the need for a comparator for pregnancy and maternity-related discrimination. This should make discrimination uniquely associated with pregnancy and maternity easier. Example scenarios:
2. The Regulations give greater rights to women whose expected week of childbirth begins on or after 5th October 2008: