Equality Legislation in Ireland

The Equality Legislation in Ireland comprises of the following Legal Acts:

  1. The Employment Equality Acts 1998 and 2004
  2. The Equal Status Acts 2000 to 2004
  3. The National Disability Authority Act 1999

  1. The Employment Equality Acts 1998 and 2004

  2. The Employment Equality Act 1998 came into operation in October 1999 and replaced the Anti-Discrimination (Pay) Act 1974 and the Employment Equality Act 1977. It has been amended by the Equality Act 2004. They are known together as the Employment Equality Acts 1998 and 2004 and Cover the following aspects of employment: advertising, equal pay, access to employment, promotion or re-grading, dismissal, as well as other issues.

    The Employment Equality Acts 1998 and 2004 also promote equality, prohibit discrimination, prohibit sexual harassment and harassment, require appropriate measures for people with disabilities in relation to access, participation and training in employment.

    These kinds of discrimination are outlawed whether by an employer, an employment agency, a trades union, a professional body, a vocational training body or a newspaper advertising jobs.

    The Act gives protection to employees in both the public and private sector as well as applicants for employment and training.

    It allows an employer to put in place positive action measures to promote equal opportunities on gender grounds. It also allows positive action specifically geared towards the integration in employment of people over the age of 50, people with disabilities and members of the traveller community.

    To read more about Employment Equality click here

    Download the Document

  3. The Equal Status Acts 2000 to 2004

  4. Equal Status Act, 2000 has been amended by the Equality Act 2004. They are known together as the Equal Status Acts 2000 to 2004.

    The Equal Status Act is based on the principle that everyone has an equal right to participate in our society. People should not be denied access to services, facilities or amenities because of race, age, religion, disability or membership of a traveller community – everyone should be seen as being of equal worth and should be treated on merits and not on the basis of a prejudice or stereotype.

    The Equal Status Act 2000 provides protection against direct and indirect discrimination outside of employment on the same 9 grounds: age, gender, religion, race, sexual orientation, marital status, family status and membership to the Traveller community and

    • Promote Equality
    • Prohibit certain kinds of discrimination across nine grounds
    • Prohibit sexual harassment and harassment
    • Prohibit victimisation
    • Require reasonable accommodation of people with disabilities
    • Allow a broad range of positive action measures.

    The Acts apply to people who buy and sell a wide variety of goods, use or provide a wide range of services, obtain or dispose of accommodation, attend at or are in charge of educational establishments.

    The Equal Status Act is not just about people who encounter discrimination, the act also sets forth the obligations now imposed on the owners and operators of businesses which supply goods and services, on those who provide accommodation, on the management of schools and educational establishments, and on the boards of private registered clubs.

    The Equality Act 2004 implements the provisions of the amended Gender Equal Treatment Framework, Framework Employment Directive and Race Directive. These Directives take precedence over Irish law which should be read and interpreted having regard to the provisions of the Directives.

    Equality Act 2004 seeks to implement the EU Race Directive which prohibits discrimination on the grounds of racial or ethnic origin and takes precedence over Irish law. The Traveller community ground has to be read and interpreted in the light of this Directive.

    To read more about Equal Status Act click here

    Download the Document

  5. The National Disability Authority Act 1999

In 1999 the National Disability Authority Act was enacted to underpin the new mainstream framework for the provision of services to people with disabilities. Under this Act, the National Disability Authority (NDA- www.nda.ie ), which is an independent statutory body, was established. This is an expert body dedicated to disability issues.
To read more about National Disablity Authority Act click here

Download document

More information is available on www.equality.ie www.oireachtas.ie www.nda.ie