No 145 The Sex Discrimination Order 1976 (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015
The Regulations, from 6/4/15, amend the Sex Discrimination (Northern Ireland) Order1976 to comply with an EU Pilot investigation concerning the transposition of Council Directive 2004/113/EC in Northern Ireland.
The Gender Directive implements the principle of equal treatment between men and women in the access to and supply of goods and services. The Regulations amend paragraph (1B) of Article 36 of the 1976 Order to clarify that the type of services covered by the exception in Articles 36(1B) and 36ZA(c) of the 1976 Order are those related to religious worship and observance that are not normally provided on a commercial basis. Articles 36(1B) and 36ZA(c) of the 1976 Order ensure that the prohibition to discriminate on grounds of sex in the access to and supply of goods and services does not cut across the doctrinal requirements of any organised religion. The exception is narrowly drawn and is there to provide clarity and certainty, notwithstanding that matters of religious worship and doctrinal requirements are outside the scope of the Gender Directive. As a consequence, there is no requirement for the exception to comply with Article 4(5) of the Gender Directive in terms of being justified by a legitimate aim, with the means of achieving that aim being appropriate and necessary.