Standalone Accessible Element

Sex and Employment

Paper human figures making circle on white background. Diversity and Inclusion

It is illegal to discriminate against someone because of their sex (i.e., their gender). Sex means a male or female of any age. Sex does not include gender reassignment (which is separately protected for those who have undergone the required medical procedure). If the individual does not identify as either male or female (non-binary) then this too should not be a source of discrimination and the individual should be consulted as to what reasonable steps can be taken to ensure their status is respected.

Dress codes

Some organizations have jobs which necessitate the worker having a uniform. Some have less formal dress codes but insist on a certain type of dress during working hours. Workers sometimes feel that dress codes treat one sex less favorably than the other, and if this were the overall effect of the policy it could be discriminatory, but differences in the details of a dress policy will normally be acceptable. Employers should try and accommodate individual choices where possible, but if they have a business reason for insisting on a certain code of dress then workers must be prepared to conform to the policy.


Care should be taken when implementing mobility policies to ensure that they do not impact adversely on women.

Pay and benefits

In addition to compensation arrangements throughout a person’s career, attention should be given to the way in which compensation is managed during periods of leave for maternity, adoption, or parental breaks, as this can impact women more than men and has the potential to be indirectly discriminatory. You should also ensure that part-time workers’ pay, and benefits are pro-rated correctly so that they do not receive less than full-time employees, as this may not only be in breach of Regulations, but can be indirectly discriminatory, as more women than men work part time.

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