Exceptions and Special Measures

Private households are exempt from Section 4(1) of the Law, which deals with recruitment and selecting an employee for employment. However, once the employee is hired, private households shall not discriminate against the employee in the other areas of the Law. 

The protection against discrimination provided in Part 2 of the the Law does not affect the benefits granted by charities or the ordination, training, or selection of persons to be ordained or appointed by religious bodies and other necessary acts or practices of religious bodies. 

It is not considered discrimination on the grounds of sex, gender, marital status or pregnancy if a genuine occupational qualification exists for a particular job. The Law allows for preferences to be made in the following circumstances:

  • The essential nature of the job calls for a man or woman for reasons of physique (excluding strength or stamina) or for reasons for authenticity in dramatic performances or other entertainment.
  • To preserve the decency or privacy of a person because the job will likely involve physical contact or a persons may be in a state of undress and it would be reasonable to object to the job being carried out by persons of the opposite sex. 
  • In establishments with less than 25 persons are employed, the nature or location of the establishment makes it impracticable for the holder of the job to live elsewhere than in the premises provided by the employer and the premise is not equipped with sleeping accommodations or sanitary facilities for both sexes. 
  • The job requires a married couple. 
  • The nature of the establishment, or where the work is carried out, requires the job be held by a person of a particular sex because it is a hospital, prison or other establishment for persons requiring special care, supervision or attention, and all the persons are of the same sex and it is reasonable, having regard to the essential character of the establishment, that the job shouldn’t be held by a person of the opposite sex.

The Law also specifically does not affect a provision in any other law which permits discrimination on the grounds of sex, gender, marital status or pregnancy.

Finally, the Governor in Cabinet may prescribe special measures to promote equality of opportunity in employment for a specific period of time based on the grounds of sex, gender, marital status or pregnancy and such special measures shall not be considered discriminatory.  For example, if Government wanted to address increasing women’s access to decision-making at higher levels, a policy could be established that a certain percentage of women are appointed as members of government boards. This would be a special measure that would not be considered discriminatory under the Law.