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harassment and sexual harassment.

Further details of the above definitions and where they apply can be found in Appendix E.

In the employment field, the SDA prohibits discrimination in non-contractual pay and benefits, such as discretionary bonuses.  Sex discrimination related to contractual pay and benefits is dealt with under the EqPA.


The EqPA (read in the light of article 141 of the Treaty of Rome) gives an individual a right to the same contractual pay and benefits as a person of the opposite sex in the same employment, or where the source of the pay is the same, where the man and the woman are doing:

the same or broadly similar work

work which has been rated as equivalent under an analytical job evaluation study

work that is of equal value (work of equal value is where the work done is different but considered to be of equal value or worth in terms of demands such as effort, skill and decision-making).  

A public authority can pay a man more than a woman (or vice versa) in such circumstances if there is a genuine and material factor for doing so which is not attributable to direct or indirect sex discrimination.

Harassment and sexual harassment


Harassment and sexual harassment are unlawful under the SDA and the duty requires public authorities to have due regard to the need to eliminate them.  The duty to have due regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity between men and women is also relevant to ensuring that harassment is prevented before it occurs.   


Different legal definitions apply, depending on whether the harassment occurs in:

employment and related fields, vocational training (including further and higher education) and in the exercise of public functions; or

schools, the provision of goods, facilities or services, or in the disposal or management of premises.

Appendix E explains the definitions of harassment.  Paragraphs 2.692.77 provide information on how to meet the duty to have due regard to the need to eliminate harassment.

The promotion of equality of opportunity between men and women  


The term 'sex' is used to describe biological differences between women and men.   The term 'gender' refers to the wider social roles and relationships which structure men's and women's lives.  Gender inequality exists in all aspects of society and refers to lasting and embedded patterns of advantage and disadvantage.

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