The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and Race Relations Act 1976

Aileen McColgan

in Just Wages for Women

Published in print October 1997 | ISBN: 9780198265887
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682995 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Monographs on Labour Law

The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and Race Relations Act 1976

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The Sex Discrimination Act became law on 29 December 1975. The Race Relations Act (which received the Royal Assent on 22 November 1976) was not primarily concerned with the issue of pay, but its provisions did extend to cover discrimination in pay. This chapter discusses the provisions of the 1975 and 1976 Acts and the impact of the Acts. It demonstrates that neither the Sex Discrimination nor the Race Relations Acts have been an unmitigated success. In particular, the Sex Discrimination Act has failed to make any substantial impact on the most significant causes of women’s inequality in the labour market: namely, their horizontal and vertical segregation within narrow parts of the occupational and industrial spectrum and, most especially, the crippling effects of their movement into part-time work. The Race Relations Act, too, has failed to address the very real problems faced by ethnic minority women: in particular, their segregation into a narrow range of low-status jobs in declining industries and occupations, and the impact of these and other factors on their relative levels of pay.

Keywords: sex discrimination; race discrimination; wage discrimination; women’s inequality; labour market

Chapter.  29223 words. 

Subjects: Company and Commercial Law

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