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Article Index
A Small Business Guide on how to Avoid Discrimination
Illegal Discrimination
Test of Discrimination
Setting Standards
Dealing with a Complaint
Allowable Discrimination
Where to Get Help

A Small Business Guide on how to Avoid Discrimination

Are there any situations where discrimination is allowed?

The law recognises that discrimination is not always clear-cut, and there are some limited situations where discrimination is allowed.

Although positive discrimination is not allowed, you can take some steps to encourage under-represented groups to improve their position in the workforce, such as improving their access to training and experience to build skills.

The other exception to discrimination law is where you discriminate because of a ‘genuine occupational requirement’ for a job. An example would selecting only black actors to play the part of Othello. The requirement must be a ‘proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim’; in other words, the requirement must be genuine and you must go no further than necessary.

Further, you are allowed to dismiss someone on the grounds of old age, if the dismissal is ‘objectively justified’. For example, you would probably be justified in dismissing a 70-year-old employee from a manual labour job if they were too frail to carry out the work safely.