The Employment Equality Acts 1998 to 2008 outlaw discrimination in a wide range of employment and employment-related areas. These include recruitment and promotion; equal pay; working conditions; training or experience; dismissal and harassment including sexual harassment. The legislation defines discrimination as treating one person in a less favourable way than another person based on any of the following 9 grounds:
- Gender: this means man, woman or transsexual
- Civil status: includes single, married, separated, divorced, widowed people, civil partners and former civil partners
- Family status: this refers to the parent of a person under 18 years or the resident primary carer or parent of a person with a disability
- Sexual orientation: includes gay, lesbian, bisexual and heterosexual
- Religion: means religious belief, background, outlook or none
- Age: this does not apply to a person aged under 16
- Disability: includes people with physical, intellectual, learning, cognitive or emotional disabilities and a range of medical conditions
- Race: includes race, skin colour, nationality or ethnic origin
- Membership of the Traveller community.
Enforcing your rights
The Equality Authority and the Equality Tribunal are separate organisations that work to ensure equality at work.
The Equality Authority is a statutory body set up to work towards the elimination of unlawful discrimination, to promote equality of opportunity and to provide information to the public on equality legislation. It can advise and support you to bring a claim to the Equality Tribunal but it has no power to decide a case. It can, at its discretion, provide legal assistance to people who wish to bring claims to the Equality Tribunal.
The Equality Tribunal is the place to bring a discrimation claim. All claims (except for claims about gender discrimination in employment which can be referred to the Circuit Court) must be referred to the Equality Tribunal. It investigates or mediates claims of unlawful discrimination under the equality legislation.
Check www.equality.ie and www.equalitytribunal.ie for more details. Alternatively, you can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org for futher information and assistance.