Select Committee on European Union Ninth Report


APPENDIX 3

HAS ADOPTED THIS DIRECTIVE:

TITLE I: GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1

Purpose

The purpose of this Directive is to put into effect in the Member States the principle of equal treatment as regards access to employment and occupation, including promotion, vocational training, employment conditions and membership of certain organisations, of all persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation. This principle is hereinafter referred to as "the principle of equal treatment".

Article 2

Concept of discrimination

1. For the purposes of this Directive, the principle of equal treatment shall mean that there shall be no direct or indirect discrimination whatsoever between persons on any of the grounds referred to in Article 1.

2. Within the meaning of paragraph 1:

    (a) direct discrimination shall be taken to occur where, on any of the grounds referred to in Article 1, one person is treated less favourably than another is, has been or would be treated.

    (b) indirect discrimination shall be taken to occur where an apparently neutral provision, criterion or practice is liable to adversely affect a person or persons to whom any of the grounds referred to in Article 1 applies, unless that provision, criterion or practice is objectively justified by a legitimate aim and the means of achieving it are appropriate and necessary.

3. Harassment of a person related to any of the discriminatory grounds and areas referred to in Article 1 which has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, offensive or disturbing environment, shall be deemed to be discrimination within the meaning of paragraph 1.

4. In order to guarantee respect of the principle of equal treatment for persons with disabilities, reasonable accommodation shall be provided, where needed, to enable such persons to have access to, participate in, or advance in employment, unless this requirement creates an undue hardship.

Article 3

Material Scope

This Directive shall apply to:

    (a) conditions for access to employment, self-employment and occupation, including selection criteria and recruitment conditions, whatever the sector or branch of activity and at all levels of the professional hierarchy, including promotion;

    (b) access to all types and to all levels, of vocational guidance, vocational training, advanced vocational training and retraining;

    (c) employment and working conditions, including dismissals and pay;

    (d) membership of and involvement in an organisation of workers or employers, or any other organisation whose members carry on a particular profession, including the benefits provided for by such organisations.


Article 4

Genuine Occupational Qualifications

1. Notwithstanding Article 2, paragraphs 1 and 2, Member States may provide that a difference of treatment which is based on a characteristic related to any of the discriminatory grounds referred to in Article 1 shall not constitute discrimination where, by reason of the nature of the particular occupational activities concerned or of the context in which they are carried out, such a characteristic constitutes a genuine occupational qualification.

2. Member States may provide that, in the case of public or private organisations which pursue directly and essentially the aim of ideological guidance in the field of religion or belief with respect to education, information and the expression of opinions, and for the particular occupational activities within those organisations which are directly and essentially related to this aim, a difference of treatment based on a relevant characteristic related to religion or belief shall not constitute discrimination where, by reason of the nature of these activities, the characteristic constitutes a genuine occupational qualification.

Article 5

Justification of differences of treatment on grounds of age

Notwithstanding Article 2(2) a, the following differences of treatment, in particular, shall not constitute direct discrimination on grounds of age, if they are objectively and reasonably justified by a legitimate aim and are appropriate and necessary to the achievement of that aim:

    (a) the prohibition on access to employment or the provision of special working conditions to ensure the protection of young people and older workers;

    (b) the fixing of a minimum age as a condition of eligibility for retirement or invalidity benefits;

    (c) the fixing of different ages for employees or groups or categories of employees for the entitlement to retirement or invalidity benefits on grounds of physical or mental occupational requirements;

    (d) the fixing of a maximum age for recruitment which is based on the training requirements of the post in question or the need for a reasonable period of employment before retirement;

    (e) the establishment of requirements concerning the length of professional experience;

    (f) the establishment of age limits which are appropriate and necessary to pursue legitimate labour market objectives.

Article 6

Positive action

This Directive shall be without prejudice to the right of the Member States to maintain or adopt measures intended to prevent or compensate for disadvantages concerning persons to whom any of the discriminatory grounds referred to in Article 1 apply.

Article 7

Minimum requirements

1. Member States may introduce or maintain provisions which are more favourable to the protection of the principle of equal treatment than those laid down in this Directive.

2. The implementation of this Directive shall under no circumstances constitute sufficient grounds for a reduction in the level of protection against discrimination already afforded by Member States in the fields covered by this Directive.


 
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