New Acas guidance on sex discrimination in the workplace

DiscriminationAcas reports that sex discrimination is one of the most common types of discrimination at work and that its Helpline receives over 7,000 calls a year about this.

This has led Acas to produce a comprehensive new guide “Sex discrimination: key points for the workplace” to help prevent sex discrimination at work and to provide guidance on how to handle any complaints which do arise.

The guide is aimed at employers, managers, HR personnel, Trade Union representatives and job applicants. There is also a handy factsheet setting out employers’ obligations and the Top Ten Myths about sex discrimination.

The guide explains the four main types of discrimination (direct, indirect, harassment and victimisation) and how sex discrimination can happen. It also goes through the key areas of employment where sex discrimination can happen: recruitment; pay and terms and conditions of employment; promotion opportunities; training opportunities; and when an employee is dismissed, including handling redundancies; and gives practical guidance on how to avoid sex discrimination in these situations.

The guidance also covers key areas such as part-time and flexible working and family-related leave, as well as stereotyping on grounds of sex and workplace “banter”. It also gives practical guidance on how employees should raise complaints and how employers should handle them.

If you need advice on any aspect of sex discrimination in the workplace, please contact Helen Kay on or .

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