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Chapter

Cover Employment Law

16. Sex discrimination  

This chapter deals with sex discrimination law under the Equality Act. It discusses the historical and legal background of sex discrimination law, protected characteristics and prohibited conduct on grounds of sex discrimination. Sex discrimination is symmetrical in that it can be claimed by both men and women. Direct sex discrimination cannot be justified unless there is an occupational requirement while indirect sex discrimination can be objectively justified. A person who has been treated less favourably for claiming sex discrimination or giving evidence in such a matter can claim victimisation. A person can claim harassment, and sexual harassment is also specifically outlawed in the Equality Act. The chapter also discusses dress codes.

Chapter

Cover Employment Law

17. Sex-related characteristics (gender reassignment, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation)  

This chapter discusses the law on discrimination due to the protected characteristics of gender reassignment, marital status and civil partnership, and pregnancy and maternity. The Sex Discrimination Act as originally drafted only prohibited discrimination on grounds of sex and marital status. However, civil partners are now treated in the same way as married people. Transgender people, who live as someone of the opposite gender, are protected from discrimination. They can also change their birth certificates so that their new gender is reflected there. Pregnant women have a right not to be discriminated against, and this is a free-standing right. People are entitled not to be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation. The prohibition against sex discrimination covers heterosexuals as well as homosexual people.

Chapter

Cover Employment Law

18. Equal pay  

This chapter discusses the evolution of equal pay law in the UK, selection of comparator by the claimant, employer defences and remedies, bringing a claim, bringing equal pay cases using sex discrimination statutes, and critiques of equal pay law. The Equal Pay Act, which came into operation in 1975, was repealed in 2010, but its content was effectively transposed into the Equality Act 2010. A claimant is required to name a comparator of the opposite sex who she claims is paid more than she is, without good reason, despite doing the same work, broadly similar work, work which has been rated as equivalent or work of equal value. Equal pay law has been criticised for failing to bring about equality in pay between men and women. Suggested reforms include placing a positive duty on employers to take action to eliminate unequal pay. The chapter also considers gender pay gap reporting.

Chapter

Cover Concentrate Questions and Answers Employment Law

10. Equal pay and family rights  

The Q&A series offer the best preparation for tackling exam questions. Each book includes typical questions, bullet-pointed answer plans and suggested answers, author commentary, and illustrative diagrams and flowcharts. This chapter presents sample exam questions about equal pay and family rights. Through a mixture of problem questions and essays, students are guided through some of the key issues on the topic of equal pay and family rights including the meaning of pay, the sex equality clause, like work, work rated as equivalent, work of equal value, comparators, material factor defence, remedies, and the right to various forms of leave including maternity and parental leave. Students are also introduced to the current key debates in the area and provided with suggestions for additional reading for those who want to take things further.