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Equality Act 2010

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Part 7 E+W+SSeparate and single services

Separate services for the sexesE+W+S

26(1)A person does not contravene section 29, so far as relating to sex discrimination, by providing separate services for persons of each sex if—E+W+S

(a)a joint service for persons of both sexes would be less effective, and

(b)the limited provision is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.

(2)A person does not contravene section 29, so far as relating to sex discrimination, by providing separate services differently for persons of each sex if—

(a)a joint service for persons of both sexes would be less effective,

(b)the extent to which the service is required by one sex makes it not reasonably practicable to provide the service otherwise than as a separate service provided differently for each sex, and

(c)the limited provision is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.

(3)This paragraph applies to a person exercising a public function in relation to the provision of a service as it applies to the person providing the service.

Single-sex servicesE+W+S

27(1)A person does not contravene section 29, so far as relating to sex discrimination, by providing a service only to persons of one sex if—E+W+S

(a)any of the conditions in sub-paragraphs (2) to (7) is satisfied, and

(b)the limited provision is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.

(2)The condition is that only persons of that sex have need of the service.

(3)The condition is that—

(a)the service is also provided jointly for persons of both sexes, and

(b)the service would be insufficiently effective were it only to be provided jointly.

(4)The condition is that—

(a)a joint service for persons of both sexes would be less effective, and

(b)the extent to which the service is required by persons of each sex makes it not reasonably practicable to provide separate services.

(5)The condition is that the service is provided at a place which is, or is part of—

(a)a hospital, or

(b)another establishment for persons requiring special care, supervision or attention.

(6)The condition is that—

(a)the service is provided for, or is likely to be used by, two or more persons at the same time, and

(b)the circumstances are such that a person of one sex might reasonably object to the presence of a person of the opposite sex.

(7)The condition is that—

(a)there is likely to be physical contact between a person (A) to whom the service is provided and another person (B), and

(b)B might reasonably object if A were not of the same sex as B.

(8)This paragraph applies to a person exercising a public function in relation to the provision of a service as it applies to the person providing the service.

Gender reassignmentE+W+S

28(1)A person does not contravene section 29, so far as relating to gender reassignment discrimination, only because of anything done in relation to a matter within sub-paragraph (2) if the conduct in question is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.E+W+S

(2)The matters are—

(a)the provision of separate services for persons of each sex;

(b)the provision of separate services differently for persons of each sex;

(c)the provision of a service only to persons of one sex.

Services relating to religionE+W+S

29(1)A minister does not contravene section 29, so far as relating to sex discrimination, by providing a service only to persons of one sex or separate services for persons of each sex, if—E+W+S

(a)the service is provided for the purposes of an organised religion,

(b)it is provided at a place which is (permanently or for the time being) occupied or used for those purposes, and

(c)the limited provision of the service is necessary in order to comply with the doctrines of the religion or is for the purpose of avoiding conflict with the strongly held religious convictions of a significant number of the religion's followers.

(2)The reference to a minister is a reference to a minister of religion, or other person, who—

(a)performs functions in connection with the religion, and

(b)holds an office or appointment in, or is accredited, approved or recognised for purposes of, a relevant organisation in relation to the religion.

(3)An organisation is a relevant organisation in relation to a religion if its purpose is—

(a)to practise the religion,

(b)to advance the religion,

(c)to teach the practice or principles of the religion,

(d)to enable persons of the religion to receive benefits, or to engage in activities, within the framework of that religion, or

(e)to foster or maintain good relations between persons of different religions.

(4)But an organisation is not a relevant organisation in relation to a religion if its sole or main purpose is commercial.

Services generally provided only for persons who share a protected characteristicE+W+S

30If a service is generally provided only for persons who share a protected characteristic, a person (A) who normally provides the service for persons who share that characteristic does not contravene section 29(1) or (2)—E+W+S

(a)by insisting on providing the service in the way A normally provides it, or

(b)if A reasonably thinks it is impracticable to provide the service to persons who do not share that characteristic, by refusing to provide the service.

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