Situations where equality law is different

Sometimes there are situations where equality law applies differently. This guide refers to these as exceptions.

There are two exceptions which relate to managing workers and which apply to all employers:

  • The possibility that direct age discrimination can be objectively justified.
  • Health and safety considerations in relation to pregnancy and maternity.

We only list the exceptions that apply to the situations covered in this guide. There are more exceptions which apply in other situations, for example, when you are recruiting someone to do a job. These are explained in the relevant guide in the series.

In addition to these exceptions, equality law allows you to:

  • Use voluntary positive action in the way workers are managed. While positive action is most often seen as applying in recruitment, promotion and training, it can also be helpful in addressing workers’ different needs when you are managing them.
  • Treat disabled people better than non-disabled people.

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Last Updated: 28 Jul 2010