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Cash-and-Carry found to discriminate against self-employed parents

March 25th 2011

The Czech Ombudsman recently concluded that a chain of cash-and-carry’s providing goods for self employed people was practicing indirect discrimination on the grounds of sex in banning access to accompanied children under the age of 12.

Following having been refused entry to the premises of one of the chain’s premises, the self-employed parents of a child under 12 petitioned the Czech Ombudsman on the grounds of their right to equal treatment in access to the store run by a company that specialised in providing goods to self-employed people.

The chain justified their policy on prohibiting children as being a matter of child safety; however, the Ombudsman decided that further investigation was necessary.

The Czech Anti-Discrimination act regulates the right to be treated equally in self employment as well as in access and provision of goods and services. It found that the store’s policy of denying access to accompanied children under the age of 12 has a disproportionate impact on the parents of the child in relation to the aim of the policy, which could have been achieved through other means.

The Ombudsman found that, in accordance with the Anti Discrimination Act, denying a parent accompanied by a child the right to access the goods and services provided by the store for self employed persons was indirect discrimination in performing self-employment on the grounds of sex.

The Czech Ombudsman was established in 2009 and became a member of Equinet at the start of 2010.