Discrimination in pricing and in the availability of goods and services
The pricing system used by a trader cannot be based on the customer's gender. For example, a barber or hairdresser may offer their customers a service in accordance with their business idea and professional skills, but the pricing of the services must not be based on the customer's gender, but instead on the actions carried out as part of the service. It is also prohibited for there to be any gender-based differences in the pricing or benefits for insurance policies offered to customers, and generally housing services cannot be offered according to gender.
The goal is not to block all kinds of differential treatment, but rather to prevent unfair treatment. It is for example possible to have offers of minor value for Mother's Day, Father's Day or International Women's Day, and sports clubs and societies may also offer small, temporary discounts for one gender. Different pricing on season tickets for men and women is, however, in violation of the Equality Act.
Nevertheless, the supply of goods and services solely or primarily to representatives of one gender is permissible if it is justified in pursuit of a legitimate objective, and appropriate and necessary means are used in order to achieve that goal. Such objectives would include, for example, the protection of victims from gender-based violence, reasons of privacy or decency, or the organising of sports activities.
A supplier of goods and services who violates the Equality Act can be sentenced in court to pay compensation to the victim of at least 3470 euros. When the amount of the compensation is being determined, the nature, extent and duration of the discrimination will always be taken into account.
The compensation may be reduced or waived completely if this is deemed reasonable in view of the offender’s financial situation, attempts to prevent or eliminate the effects of the action, or other circumstances.