Sunday, 11 December 2005

Sex Discrimination: new regulations

See my report of last March on Updating the Sex Discrimination Act reproducing GS Misc 777, which was sent to all General Synod members to inform them about the consultations being held with the government by both the House of Bishops and the Archbishops’ Council and the reasons for needing to make these changes.

The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 has now been amended significantly, by publication of The Employment Equality (Sex Discrimination) Regulations 2005.

This includes inter alia the new version of Section 19 of the 1975 Act. This is the section which enables religious groups to discriminate in certain circumstances. The full text of the new version is reproduced below the fold. It is almost identical to the earlier draft. Note also that it includes references to civil partners as well as to spouses (all of which was in the draft).

The official explanatory memorandum is available as a PDF file. It is a document of 51 pages. The discussion of Section 19 is on pages 26 and 27.
A further DTI explanatory document is available as a Word file. Again the relevant pages are 26 and 27.
The government’s response to the earlier consultation is also available as a Word file. This time the relevant pages are 25 and 26.

New version of Section 19

Clergy
20. —(1) For section 19 of the 1975 Act (ministers of religion etc.) substitute—

“19. —
(1) Nothing in this Part shall make it unlawful to apply a requirement in relation to employment where—

(a) the employment is for purposes of an organised religion,

(b) the requirement is one to which subsection (3) applies, and

(c) the requirement is applied—
(i) so as to comply with the doctrines of the religion, or
(ii) because of the nature of the employment and the context in which it is carried out, so as to avoid conflicting with the strongly-held religious convictions of a significant number of the religion’s followers.

(2) Nothing in section 13 shall make it unlawful to apply a requirement in relation to an authorisation or qualification (as defined in that section) where—

(a)the authorisation or qualification is for purposes of an organised religion,

(b) the requirement is one to which subsection (3) applies, and

(c) the requirement is applied—
(i) so as to comply with the doctrines of the religion, or
(ii) by the authority or body concerned, or by the person by whom the authority or body acts in a particular case, so as to avoid conflicting with the strongly-held religious convictions of a significant number of the religion’s followers.

(3) This subsection applies to—

(a) a requirement to be of a particular sex,

(b) a requirement not to be undergoing or to have undergone gender reassignment,

(c) a requirement relating to not being married or to not being a civil partner,

(d) a requirement, applied in relation to a person who is married, or is a civil partner, that relates—
(i) to the person, or the person’s spouse or civil partner, not having a living former spouse or a living former civil partner, or
(ii) to how the person, or the person’s spouse or civil partner, has at any time ceased to be married or ceased to be a civil partner.”.

(2) Section 6 of the Priests (Ordination of Women) Measure 1993 (No. 2)[1993 No. 2] is repealed.

(3) Regulation 5 of the Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations 1999[S.I. 1999/1102] is revoked.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 11 December 2005 at 6:56pm GMT
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
Categorised as: equality legislation
Comments

"(b) a requirement not to be undergoing or to have undergone gender reassignment"

... because why miss an opportunity to gratuitously stick it to transgendered people again?

{sarcasm mode off}

>:-(

Posted by: J. C. Fisher on Sunday, 11 December 2005 at 10:38pm GMT
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