Thursday 17 July 2003

Sex Discriminations Regulations

[Thanks to Charles Piggott of Mills & Reeve for telling me about these Regulations]

The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 (Amendment) Regulations 2003 have just been published, and come into force on Saturday, 19th July 2003. Unlike the correspondence Race and Equal Pay Regulations, very little seems to have been written about these amendments.

They make two very important changes, namely:

* at long last, reversing the rule in Liversidge, i.e. providing that chief constables of police forces will be vicariously liable for sex discrimination committed by one police officer against another;
* prohibiting discrimination after the end of the employment relationship, provided the act of discrimination arises out of and is closely connected to the employment relationship. This partly implements the House of Lord's decision in Relaxion Group v Rhys-Harper last month. The effect is that, for example, failures to provide a reference (or bad references on grounds of gender) is capable of amounting to direct discrimination (avoiding the need to bring a difficult claim of victimisation).

The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 (Amendment) Regulations 2003

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