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Exceptions to the rules

It is not always fair to treat people equally. Sometimes it is reasonable to discriminate in favour of one group over others.

For example, in certain circumstances, it makes sense that a job is performed by a person of a particular sex or race.

Also, to overcome disadvantage, one group may sometimes need special opportunities for example, access to targeted programs and services.

South Australian equal opportunity law allows for some exceptions to the rules. There are a number of exemptions built into the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (SA) that allow discrimination in specific areas and activities. For example, sport clubs can have competitions in different age categories without discriminating unlawfully.

Exemptions in the Equal Opportunity Act also allow special measures, which mean that organisations can discriminate in favour of a certain group, if it helps address past discrimination. Organisations can also apply to the Equal Opportunity Tribunal for a temporary exemption.

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