Discrimination on the ground of sex was the first form of discrimination to be made
unlawful in the employment field. As with other forms of unlawful discrimination
there are two types of sex discrimination – direct discrimination and indirect discrimination.
Direct sex discrimination is fairly easy to spot – ‘Barmaid wanted’, but indirect
sex discrimination, where an unnecessary requirement puts one sex at a disproportionate
disadvantage compared to the opposite sex, is sometimes less easy to spot, although
some are obvious – ‘Bar person wanted – must look good in a mini skirt’.
Many employers have been caught out, sometimes innocently, by the indirect discrimination
legislation, such as the employer who, because of the height of the conveyors and
Health & Safety fears, had a height restriction of 5’10” for conveyor belt operatives.
Two tall unsuccessful male job applicants won
Employment Tribunal claims for indirect sex discrimination, as the height
restriction disproportionately affected males, and the conveyor belts could have
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