The Equality Act permits gyms and gym sessions which are aimed solely at one gender


The Equality Act permits gyms and gym sessions which are aimed solely at one gender

Entrepreneurs can choose the contents of the service they want to offer and the clientele that they want to offer a specific product to, as long as their conduct does not violate the prohibition of discrimination based on gender, which is a guaranteed fundamental right which has been specified in the Equality Act.

The Equality Act does not prohibit differential treatment in cases where it is justified to offer goods or services exclusively or mainly to one gender on the grounds of a legitimate objective and the measures are appropriate and necessary.

An established opinion of the Ombudsman for Equality is that health and fitness centres can refer to the consideration of modesty as a legitimate objective based on which they can restrict men's access to the gym during a women-only session. Separate women-only sessions are a suitable and appropriate solution to this. Similarly, a women-only gym or an area of a public gym which is reserved only for women does not contradict the Equality Act.

Municipal health and fitness centres can also refer to the consideration of modesty as a legitimate objective based on which they can restrict men's access to the gym during a women-only session. It is because of women-only gym sessions that it has been possible to lower the threshold for many women to start training at a gym, as they have felt that joint exercise and gym sessions with men have been a barrier to this.

Reasons of modesty can equally be the justification for organising men-only fitness sessions.

It is not, however, allowed under the Equality Act for a gym to base their pricing on gender.

According to the Equality Act, offers targeting only one gender are acceptable only if they are infrequent and of a relatively low monetary value. A discount or benefit that is continuously offered to one gender by a business, association or sports club, for example, does not comply with the Equality Act.

(No. 6/31/2003; TAS 380/2006; TAS 349/2007; TAS 95/2008; TAS 46/2013; TAS 55/2013; TAS 45/2014; TAS 29/2015)