The Sex Discrimination Act Short Summary

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The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 is an act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 (SDA) makes it unlawful to discriminate against an individual on the grounds of gender and marriage, and promotes sexual equality within employment, education, advertising, and provision of housing, goods, services and facilities. The Act was amended in 1986 to ensure that discrimination within small firms, private households and employment, and at the age of retirement, was abolished.

The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 was amended by new Regulations in 2008. The new Regulations include:

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  • Discrimination on the ground of pregnancy or maternity leave;
  • Harassment;
  • Liability of employers for failing to protect employees from third party harassment;
  • Exception relating to terms and conditions during maternity leave.

The Equal Pay Act 1970 is an Act of the United Kingdom Parliament which prohibits any less favorable treatment between men and women in terms of pay and conditions of employment. It was passed by Parliament in the aftermath of the 1968 Ford sewing machinists strike and came into force on 29 December 1975.

The term pay is interpreted in a broad sense to include, on top of wages, things like holidays, pension rights, company perks and some kinds of bonuses. The legislation has been amended on a number of recent occasions to incorporate a simplified approach under European Union law that is common to all member states. Under law both men and women are entitled to equal pay.

In addition to basic salary or wages pay is also deemed to include contractual benefits, such as pension contributions and bonuses. The Equal Pay Act is part of employment law and should be treated as separate from general discrimination law. The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which has now been repealed and replaced by the Equality Act 2010 except in Northern Ireland where the Act still applies.

Formerly, it made it unlawful to discriminate against people in respect of heir disabilities in relation to employment, the provision of goods and services, education and transport. It is still permissible for employers to have reasonable medical criteria for employment, and to expect adequate performance from all employees once any reasonable adjustments have been made.

In addition to imposing obligations on employers, the Act placed duties on service providers and required “reasonable adjustments” to be made when providing access to goods, facilities, services and premises. The duties on service providers have been introduced in three stages:

  1. December 1994 – It has been unlawful for service providers to treat disabled people less favorably for a reason related to their disability.
  2. October 1972 – Service providers have had to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ for disabled people, such as providing extra help or making changes to the way they provide their services.
  3. October 2004 – Service providers may have to make other ‘reasonable adjustments’ in relation to the physical features of their premises to overcome physical barriers to access.

Cite this page

The Sex Discrimination Act Short Summary. (2016, Dec 05). Retrieved from

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