Discrimination in the workplace is covered by the Employment Equality Act. The Acts outlaw discrimination in work-related areas such as pay, vocational training, access to employment, work experience and promotion. Cases involving harassment and victimisation at work are also covered by the Acts. The publication of discriminatory advertisements and discrimination by employment agencies, vocational training bodies and employment agencies, e.g. trade unions and employer associations, is outlawed. Collective agreements may be referred to the Equality Tribunal for mediation or investigation.

Employees who feel they are discriminated against unlawfully, on any of the nine prohibited grounds, may make a claim under these Acts. The legislation covers all aspects of work including recruitment and promotion, the right to equal pay, conditions of employment, training or experience.

Anyone who feels they have been discriminated against may refer a complaint to The Equality Tribunal through Workplace Relations Customer Services within 6 months of the occurrence of the act of discrimination. The Director of the Tribunal may extend this to a maximum of 12 months if the complainant shows that there is reasonable cause to do so.

Employment Discrimination Grounds

The nine prohibited grounds which cannot under any circumstances be taken into account in making decisions concerning a person’s employment are as follows:

  • Gender
  • Civil status
  • Family status
  • Sexual orientation
  • Religious belief
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Race colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins
  • Membership of the Traveller community

A person who feels they have been discriminated against is entitled to ask their employer for information which they may need to decide whether to refer the matter to the Equality Tribunal and to help them find out what actually happened. A request for information form, known as the EE.2 form, is available in .pdf format here.

If a receiver or liquidator has been appointed to any company, then he or she takes over responsibility for the respondent’s debts. The claim can be made against the liquidator/receiver.

If the business has simply been sold, then the situation is more complicated. Often the agreement for sale will state who is responsible for claims against the business.

All businesses should be properly appraised of the issues surrounding employees and discrimination in the workplace. We act for both employers and employees in advising and conducting matters before the Equality Tribunal. We advise businesses on proper policies for the workplace to ensure that no breaches of the equality legislation occur. Our service is transparent, our fees are competitive, and our approach is as always to ensure our Clients’ interests come first.