On 23 October 2012 the Government approved the Minister for Justice and Equality's proposals for the drafting of the Equal Status (Amendment) Bill.

The drafting of the Bill will be arranged on a priority basis and is subject to ongoing consultation with relevant Departments and the Attorney General. The Heads of the Bill which the Government approved today will be subject to further refinement during the formal drafting stages in advance of publication.

The Bill will provide for technical amendments to the Equal Status Acts to give effect in national law to the decision of the Court of Justice of the EU in the Test-Achats case. In this decision the Court ruled that the existing exemption afforded to Member States under EU Directive 2004/113/EC to permit insurance companies to vary prices and benefits for private insurance to reflect differences in risk according to gender will cease to be valid from 21 December 2012. Essentially, this means that it will no longer be legal to offer life insurance and motor insurance on the basis of differing pricing for men and women.

Link to document: Scheme of the Equal Status (Amendment) Bill