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The Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003

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Employment agencies, careers guidance etc

18.  (1)  It is unlawful for an employment agency to discriminate against a person—

(a)in the terms on which the agency offers to provide any of its services;

(b)by refusing or deliberately not providing any of its services; or

(c)in the way it provides any of its services.

(2) It is unlawful for an employment agency, in relation to a person to whom it provides its services, or who has requested it to provide its services, to subject that person to harassment.

(3) Paragraph (1) does not apply to discrimination if it only concerns employment which, by virtue of regulation 7 (exception for genuine occupational requirement etc), the employer could lawfully refuse to offer the person in question.

(4) An employment agency shall not be subject to any liability under this regulation if it proves that—

(a)it acted in reliance on a statement made to it by the employer to the effect that, by reason of the operation of paragraph (3), its action would not be unlawful, and

(b)it was reasonable for it to rely on the statement.

(5) A person who knowingly or recklessly makes a statement such as is referred to in paragraph (4)(a) which in a material respect is false or misleading commits an offence, and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

(6) For the purposes of this regulation—

(a)“employment agency” means a person who, for profit or not, provides services for the purpose of finding employment for workers or supplying employers with workers, but it does not include—

(i)an educational establishment to which regulation 20 (institutions of further and higher education) applies, or would apply but for the operation of any other provision of these Regulations, or

(ii)a school; and

(b)references to the services of an employment agency include guidance on careers and any other services related to employment.

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