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This legislation makes it illegal for an employer to treat any employee or potential employee less favourably than others on the basis of race, colour, nationality (including citizenship) or ethnic origins.
The Act covers all employees including casual staff, self-employed contractors and staff hired through employment agencies, and is applicable regardless of the length of time worked for an employer or the number of hours worked per week.
The Act makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate in all areas of employment, including:
This Act gives employees (both male and female) the legal right to receive the same pay and benefits as someone of the opposite sex where they are doing the same work or work that is equivalent or deemed to be of equal value.
It covers all employees including full-time, part-time and temporary staff irrespective of how long they have worked for an employer.
The Act covers all elements of pay and benefits, including:
For further information, please visit the Equality and Human Rights Commission's pages on Equal Pay (external site).
This legislation makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate against employees or potential employees on the basis of gender or marriage. It covers all aspects of employment, including:
The only exception is when an employer can prove that employing someone of a specific gender is a genuine occupational requirement. This is where the nature of the job or particular duties of the job require that it be done by someone of a specific gender (e.g. a female worker in a women’s refuge).
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has more information on sex discrimination.
Under this legislation, it is unlawful to discriminate against employees and potential employees because of their age.
The Regulations cover all aspects of employment including recruitment and selection, terms and conditions, opportunities for training, promotion or transfer and redundancy and dismissal.
The legislation establishes a national default retirement age of 65 and makes it illegal to compulsorily retire anyone before this age.
Employees have the right to ask to work beyond the age of 65 and employers must consider such requests. The legislation also removed the upper age limits on unfair dismissal and redundancy.
The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) has produced Age and the Workforce – A guide for employers (PDF – 856 KB, external site).
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