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Main principles and definitions

With the adoption of the Anti-discrimination Act, definitions of equal treatment and discrimination were introduced into the Slovak legal system. The Act defines direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment, instruction to discriminate, incitement to discrimination and victimisation.

Except for incitement to discrimination (which is a form which goes beyond the scope of the Directives and does not conflict with them), the definitions follow the patterns of both Council Directives 2000/43/EC and 2000/78/EC. With the grounds covered, the act goes well beyond the list of grounds covered by the Directives (and this applies to all the areas mentioned in the directives). Discrimination by association is also prohibited. By determining whether discrimination has occurred or not, no account is taken of whether the reasons for discrimination were based on facts or on a false assumption.

Employment, social services, social insurance, social welfare payments and benefits, social advantages, health care, education, goods and services including housing – are spheres in which discrimination on the grounds of sex, religion or belief, race, affiliation with nationality or an ethnic group, disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status and family status, colour of skin, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, lineage/gender or other status is prohibited pursuant to the Anti-discrimination Act. In some cases and pursuant to other laws, discrimination is also prohibited on the ground of unfavourable state of health or on the ground of trade union activities or activities in associations.

The Anti-discrimination Act also imposes the duty to provide reasonable accommodation on employers. In particular, it obliges them to take appropriate measures to enable a person with a disability to have access to employment, to promotion or other advance at work and to training.

At the same time, accommodating the needs of a disabled person must not impose a disproportionate burden on an employer.

Differential treatment in employment (in particular the exception grounded on genuine and determining occupational requirements) is permitted if it is justified according to the rules identical with the Racial Equality and the Employment Equality Directive.

The Act also defines other exceptions to the principle of equal treatment. Discrimination on the ground of religion or belief is allowed for churches and religious organisations if a person´s religion is fundamental for carrying out certain occupation. The Anti-discrimination Act provides that it does not apply to legal regulation of the status of third country nationals and states that in the armed forces and rescue services, discrimination on the grounds of disability and age is to be accepted. Under special circumstances, several exceptions concern differences in treatment on the ground of age, such as fixing age for access to employment, for entitlement to certain social benefits in employment or for the provision of insurance services. Discrimination on the ground of disability is not considered to be discrimination in providing insurance services or in employment where the health requirements are essential for carrying out certain occupational activities. The fixing of different retirement ages for men and women, as well as protection of pregnant women and mothers, is allowed if it is objectively justified. The existing legal rule and case-law do not explicitly deal with situations of multiple discrimination.

Source: http://www.non-discrimination.net/content/main-principles-and-definitions-25