Equal Opportunities

Statutory obligations

The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and the Race Relations Act 1976 proscribe discrimination in, among others, the spheres of employment and education, on grounds of sex (including gender reassignment) and marriage (in the case of the former Act) and on racial grounds(in the case of the latter Act). According to the Acts, there is direct discrimination where an individual, on the grounds of his or her sex or racial group, is treated less favourably than a member of the other sex or someone of a different racial group would be treated; there is indirect discrimination where a requirement or condition is applied (i) which is such that a considerably smaller proportion of persons of one sex or of the same racial group can comply with it than the proportion of persons of the other sex or not of that racial group who can comply; and (ii) which cannot be shown to be justifiable irrespective of the sex, colour, race, nationality, or ethnic or national origins of the person to whom it is applied; and (iii) which is to the detriment of the person concerned because he or she cannot comply with it. An example of indirect discrimination on grounds of sex might be a rule that applicants must be under a specified age.

It is also unlawful for an individual to be victimised for having brought proceedings under the Acts, or for giving evidence or information relating to such proceedings, or for alleging that discrimination has occurred.

The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) and the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE), set up by the Acts to work towards the elimination of discrimination and to promote equality of opportunity, have both produced codes of practice on equal opportunities in employment which have been endorsed by Parliament. The codes do not have the force of law, but they can be brought in evidence in employment tribunals.

The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) introduced measures to prevent discrimination against disabled people in employment, in the provision of goods and services, and in buying and renting land and property. The DDA defines a disabled person as a person with ‘a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities’. A Disability Rights Commission (DRC) has been created under the DDA with similar functions to those of the EOC and CRE. Guidelines on the implementation of the DDA have been issued by the Government, and our code of practice is consistent with these guidelines.

The Human Rights Act 1998 incorporates the European Convention of Human Rights into UK law. Article 8 guarantees the right to respect for private and family life and Article 14 prohibits discrimination on any reasonable ground (which will include sexual orientation).


The policy and practice of Workwear Express is that all employees are afforded equal opportunities within employment and that entry into employment with Workwear Express will be determined only by personal merit and the application of criteria which are related to the duties of each particular post and the relevant salary structure. In all cases, ability to perform the job will be the primary consideration. Workwear Express is fully committed to the principle of equal opportunities in recruitment and employment and opposes all forms of unlawful or unfair discrimination including those on the grounds of:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Ethnic or national origin
  • HIV status
  • Marital status
  • Nationality (including citizenship)
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation