Equality Act 2010 Explanatory Notes

Protection of women: paragraph 2


978.This paragraph allows differential treatment based on sex or pregnancy and maternity at work which is required to comply with laws protecting women who are pregnant, who have recently given birth or against risks specific to women.


979.The paragraph replaces separate exceptions for the protection of women in the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and in the Employment Act 1989.


  • A care home cannot lawfully dismiss, but can lawfully suspend, a night-shift worker because she is pregnant and her GP has certified that she must not work nights.

  • It may be lawful for a road haulier to refuse to allow a woman lorry driver to transport chemicals that could harm women of child-bearing age.

Back to top