Sexual Discrimination

The law relating to sex discrimination is heavily influenced by European Union law. Article 141 of the Treaty of Rome provides that "Each member of state shall ensure that the principal of equal pay for male and female workers for work of equal value is applied. " The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 (SDA) prohibits sex discrimination against individuals in the areas of employment and education. The Sex Discrimination Act applies to England, Wales and Scotland. The SDA applies to women and men of any age including children.

The Sex Discrimination Act was introduced to make it unlawful for employers to discriminate in any other way on the grounds of sex. The SDA 1975 was set up by the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) which monitors equality. The commission can help a complaint to bring a case. It can also bring cases itself when it believes there has been a breach of the law. A teenage girl was once awarded over i?? 24,000 compensation in 1994 because she was turned down for an apprentice as a motor mechanic because of her sex.

An example of sex discrimination because of your sex is the Dan Air case. The company, an airline adopted a policy of only employing women air hostesses and refusing even to consider male applicants. The discrimination was adopted on grounds that if gay men were employed passengers might be exposed to the risk of becoming HIV positive. The EOC investigated Dan Air's policy and found that there were no medical grounds for implementing it. The result that the company was in breach of the SDA. The EOC issued on non-discrimination notice and Dan Air subsequently changed its policy.

The company was discriminating against all men in their desire to exclude gay men and so was breaking the law. Harassment Harassment on the grounds of sex an unlawful act. The employment Equality Regulation 2003 give effect to a European Union Directive. Harassment is defined as unwanted conflict that has the purpose of effect of violating your dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive workplace environment for you. There is also direct and indirect sexual discrimination.

Direct discrimination is if a manager of a company said that all male employees would receive a wage increase but all the female employees would not. Admitting boys only to a GCSE course in electronics at a mixed school, or offering hire purchase facilities only to men or half price entry to a disco only to women. This would be "direct" sex discrimination. An example of "indirect" discrimination is of the manger of a company said the employees who has worked continuously for the company for twenty years would receive a wage increase, It is likely that many more women then men would miss out on the increase.

This is because many women interrupt their working lives to have children and would not have worked continuously in on the company for twenty years. An after school computer club open only to pupils taking an examination course in computer-science could be against the law if hardly any girls took the examination course. Lastly if a housing association that excluded single parents from membership could be indirectly discriminating because the vast majority of single parents are women. This kind of unfair treatment is called "indirect" sex discrimination.

The SDA permits the continuation of single-sex schools but also places a general duty on local education without sex discrimination. This might mean for example, that although a single-sex girls may not offer a design of technology course, through its own curriculum, the local authority has to ensure if boys in the same area have the opportunity to study this subject, arrangements are made to enable girls to take it, perhaps by attending a nearby mixed school for those lessons. Sex discrimination is against the law and a person has a right to make a complaint.

A person may resolve the situation by themselves by pointing out that it is unlawful. If this is not possible then the person can lodge a complaint with the Human rights and equal opportunity commission. The person can write to the commission describing what happened, where and when. It clearly needs to say who was involved and anything else that might be relevant. A complaint about sexual discrimination in employment must be brought to an employment tribunal system within 3 months of the act of failure to act being complained of.

The Tribunal has a discretion to allow claims to be submitted late in certain circumstances. If complaint of sexual discrimination is successful, a court or employment Tribunal has the power to make a declaration and to consider the grant of a number of remedies. A court or tribunal can award compensation if it thinks it is just and equitable to do so. A compliant about sexual discrimination is establishment must also be brought to the county court or sheriff's court within six months of the act complained of.