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Equal Treatment Framework Directive

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Published at last! The English version of the Equal Treatment Framework Directive 2000 is now available, and is attached to this Email (128K - sorry about the length!) in .pdf format. You need Adobe Acrobat to read it.

The main points are:

1) The UK must introduce legislation prohibiting discrimination in employment on grounds of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation.

2) The religion, belief and sexual orientation legislation must be in force by 2nd December 2003. The disability and age legislation must be in force by 2nd December 2006.

3) Positive action is expressly permitted.

4) There is a defence of 'genuine occupational requirement' for all types of discrimination.

5) There are specific defences for age discrimination, provided it can be shown to satisfy a legitimate employment policy. These defences include:
• remuneration conditions for young or older people;
• fixing of minimum conditions of age, professional experience or seniority for access to employment;
• fixing of minimum age requirements for training.
6) It is specifically stated that a mandatory retirement age is NOT to be regarded as age discrimination.

7) The burden of proof shifts to the employer once the employee has shown a prima facie case of less favourable treatment.

8) The Directive does not apply to the armed forces, but there are no other excluded sectors.

Interesting times ahead....