Sex discrimination

Your Rights

It is unlawful under the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 to discriminate against a person because of their sex.

Direct sex discrimination occurs when a person is treated unfairly because of their sex, compared to another person of a different sex in the same or similar circumstances.

Indirect sex discrimination is when a requirement, condition or practice that is the same for everyone has an unfair effect on someone because of their sex, and is unreasonable in the circumstances.

Examples of sex discrimination

  • A man complained he was discriminated against at a nightclub because men were charged an entry fee while women were allowed in free of charge.
  • A woman applied for a position at a factory but was told that all staff in the factory were males and all facilities were for males only. She was told it would be useless for her to apply for the job because she was a female.
  • An offer of employment to a male midwife was withdrawn after female midwives refused to accept a man into their work area.
  • A female parking inspector was subjected to gender-based comments by her colleagues and supervisor, and her employer took no steps to resolve the issue.
  • A young man applied for a job as a supermarket checkout operator and was told it was a job for a woman.

Downloads and related information:

Sex discrimination fact sheets are available at Publications - Fact sheets

Information about making a complaint  Make a complaint

Contact the EOC  Contact us