Sex Discrimination and Equal Pay
OFMDFM has responsibility for providing and updating legislation which tackles unfair discrimination on the basis of a person’s gender.
The two key pieces of primary legislation are:-
- The Sex Discrimination (Northern Ireland) Order 1976 (as amended) prohibits sex discrimination against individuals in the areas of employment, education, and the provision of goods, facilities and services and in the disposal or management of premises.
- The Equal Pay Act (Northern Ireland) 1970 (as amended) makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate between men and women in terms of their pay and conditions where they are doing the same or similar work; work rated as equivalent; or work of equal value.
More information on this legislation can be found on the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland website.
Implementing the Equal Treatment Amendment Directive (2002/73/EC)
The Equal Treatment Amendment Directive (ETAD) is concerned with the principle of equal treatment for men and women as regards access to employment, vocational training and promotion and working conditions. The Directive amends the original 1976 Equal Treatment Directive (1976/76/EC) to reflect changes to the EU Treaty and developments in European case law since 1976. Among other things, ETAD:
- defines direct and indirect discrimination;
- harassment, including sexual harassment; and
- discrimination by way of less favourable treatment because of pregnancy or maternity leave.
More information on implementing this Directive can be found at the ETAD Webpage
Implementing the Gender Directive (2004/113/EC)
The Gender Directive is concerned with 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:
- discrimination against men and women
- discrimination against transsexual people (on grounds of gender reassignment)
- discrimination for reasons of pregnancy and maternity
More information on implementing this Directive can be found at the Gender Directive Webpage
Implementing the Recast Directive (2006/54/EC)
Council Directive 2006/54/EC (“Recast Directive”) is concerned with the principle of equal treatment between men and women in matters of employment and vocational training. It consolidates and updates the following EU Directives:
- the Equal Pay Directive (75/117/EEC);
- the Equal Treatment Directive (76/207/EEC) relating to access to employment, vocational training, promotion and working conditions, as amended by the Equal Treatment Amendment Directive (2002/73/EC);
- the Directive on Equal Treatment in Occupational Social Security Schemes (86/378/EEC), as amended by Directive 96/97/EC; and
- the Burden of Proof Directive (97/80/EC), as amended by Directive 98/52/EC.
More information on implementing this Directive can be found at the Recast Directive webpage.