An employer may provide a crèche for employees’ children aged two and under; or a holiday club open only to employees’ children aged between 5 and 9. In each of these examples, the exception allows an employer to discriminate against employees because of their association with a child who does not fall within the specified age groups.
The exception does not apply to employee benefits which do not have a close relationship with the provision of child care. For example, if an employer offers luncheon vouchers, gym membership or a company car only to those employees with children of a particular age group, the exception does not apply as none of these benefits involves child care.
Neither does the exception apply to benefits conferred as a result of the employee’s employment, but applying directly to the child, where child care is not involved. For example, an employer may offer private healthcare to employees’ children up to a certain age, or use of the employer’s services (e.g. free train tickets if the employer is a train company) by such children.