Industrial and professional associations, qualifying bodies and vocational training bodies

What does the Human Rights Act say about industrial and professional associations, qualifying bodies and vocational training bodies?
Organisations of employees (e.g. unions):

It is unlawful for an organisation or any person acting or purporting to act on behalf of an organisation:

  • to refuse or omit to accept any person for membership;
  • to offer any person less favourable terms of membership and less favourable access to any benefits, facilities, or services, including the right to stand for election and hold office in the organisation;
  • to deprive a person of membership,

by reason of any of the prohibited grounds of discrimination.

Exceptions: ground of age and differential fees for professional and trade organisations

Qualifying bodies:

It is unlawful for an authority or body which confers approvals, authorities or qualifications:

  • to refuse or omit to confer approval, authorisation, or qualification on a person;
  • to confer it on less favourable terms and conditions than would otherwise be made available;
  • to withdraw the approval, authorisation, or qualification or vary the terms, in circumstances where this would otherwise not be done, by reason of any of the prohibited grounds of discrimination.

Exception: ground of sex in organised religion; ground of religious belief in established customs of a religion; qualifying bodies – minimum age for qualifications

Vocational training bodies:

It is unlawful for an organisation or association which provides training, or facilities or opportunities for training (including facilities or opportunities by way of financial grants), that would help fit a person for any employment:

  • to refuse or omit to provide training or facilities or opportunities for training;
  • to provide training, or facilities or opportunities for training, on less favourable terms and conditions than would otherwise be made available;
  • to terminate training, or facilities or opportunities for training, by reason of any of the prohibited grounds of discrimination.
Further Information

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