Employment Equality Act 1998
2.— (1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—
“ act” includes a deliberate omission;
“ advertisement” F1 [ includes every form of statement to the public and every form of advertisement, whether to the public or not ] and whether in a newspaper or other publication, on television or radio or by display of a notice or by any other means, and references to the publishing of advertisements shall be construed accordingly;
“ agency worker” means an employee whose contract of employment is as mentioned in paragraph (b) of the definition of such a contract in this subsection;
“ associated employer” shall be construed in accordance with subsection (2);
“ the Authority” means the Equality Authority;
F2 [ ‘ civil status ’ means being single, married, separated, divorced, widowed, in a civil partnership within the meaning of the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 or being a former civil partner in a civil partnership that has ended by death or been dissolved; ]
F3 [ ‘ collective agreement ’ means an agreement between an employer and a body or bodies representative of the employees to which the agreement relates; ]
F4 [ ‘ contract of employment ’ means, subject to subsection (3) —
( a ) a contract of service or apprenticeship, or
( b ) any other contract whereby —
(i) an individual agrees with another person personally to execute any work or service for that person, or
(ii) an individual agrees with a person carrying on the business of an employment agency within the meaning of the Employment Agency Act 1971 to do or perform personally any work or service for another person (whether or not the other person is a party to the contract),
whether the contract is express or implied and, if express, whether oral or written; ]
F4 [ ‘ the F5 [ Director General of the Workplace Relations Commission ] ’ means the F5 [ Director General of the Workplace Relations Commission ] ; ]
“ disability” means—
( a) the total or partial absence of a person’s bodily or mental functions, including the absence of a part of a person’s body,
( b) the presence in the body of organisms causing, or likely to cause, chronic disease or illness,
( c) the malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of a person’s body,
( d) a condition or malfunction which results in a person learning differently from a person without the condition or malfunction, or
( e) a condition, illness or disease which affects a person’s thought processes, perception of reality, emotions or judgement or which results in disturbed behaviour,
and shall be taken to include a disability which exists at present, or which previously existed but no longer exists, or which may exist in the future or which is imputed to a person;
F4 [ F6 [ ‘ discrimination ’ includes the issue of an instruction to discriminate and, in Part V and VI , includes prohibited conduct within the meaning of the Equal Status Act 2000 , and cognate words shall be construed accordingly; ] ]
“ the discriminatory grounds” has the meaning given by section 6(2) ;
“ dismissal” includes the termination of a contract of employment by the employee (whether prior notice of termination was or was not given to the employer) in circumstances in which, because of the conduct of the employer, the employee was or would have been entitled to terminate the contract without giving such notice, or it was or would have been reasonable for the employee to do so, and “ dismissed” shall be construed accordingly;
F4 [ ‘ employee ’ , subject to subsection (3) , means a person who has entered into or works under (or, where the employment has ceased, entered into or worked under) a contract of employment and, where the context admits, includes a member or former member of a regulatory body, but, so far as regards access to employment, does not include a person employed in another person ’ s home for the provision of personal services for persons residing in that home where the services affect the private or family life of those persons; ]
“ employer”, subject to subsection (3), means, in relation to an employee, the person with whom the employee has entered into or for whom the employee works under (or, where the employment has ceased, entered into or worked under) a contract of employment;
“ employment agency” (when not defined by reference to the Employment Agency Act, 1971) means a person who, whether for profit or otherwise, provides services related to the finding of employment for prospective employees or the supplying of employees to employers;
“ family status” means responsibility—
( a) as a parent or as a person in loco parentis in relation to a person who has not attained the age of 18 years, or
( b) as a parent or the resident primary carer in relation to a person of or over that age with a disability which is of such a nature as to give rise to the need for care or support on a continuing, regular or frequent basis,
and, for the purposes of paragraph (b), a primary carer is a resident primary carer in relation to a person with a disability if the primary carer resides with the person with the disability;
“ functions”, in relation to the Authority, includes powers and duties;
“ like work” shall be construed in accordance with section 7 ;
F7 [ … ]
“ member of the family”, in relation to any person, means—
( a) that person’s spouse F8 [ or civil partner within the meaning of the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 ], or
( b) a brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, lineal ancestor or lineal descendant of that person or that person’s spouse F8 [ or civil partner within the meaning of the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 ];
“ the Minister” means the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform;
“ pension rights” means a pension or any other benefits flowing from an occupational pension scheme;
F4 [ ‘ proceedings ’ means —
( a ) proceedings before the person, body or court dealing with a request or reference under this Act by or on behalf of a person, and
( b ) any subsequent proceedings, including proceedings on appeal, arising from the request or reference,
but does not include proceedings for an offence under this Act; ]
F3 [ ‘ personal services ’ , in relation to such services provided in a person ’ s home, includes but is not limited to services that are in the nature of services in loco parentis or involve caring for those residing in the home; ]
F3 [ ‘ persons ’ , in sections 19 , 22 , 29 and 31 does not import the singular; ]
“ provider of agency work” shall be construed in accordance with subsection (5);
F3 [ ‘ provision ’ means a term in a contract of employment or a requirement, criterion, practice, regime, policy or condition relating to employment; ]
“ regulatory body” means a body which falls within any of paragraphs (a) to (c) of section 13 ;
F9 [ … ]
“ religious belief” includes religious background or outlook;
“ remuneration”, in relation to an employee, does not include pension rights but, subject to that, includes any consideration, whether in cash or in kind, which the employee receives, directly or indirectly, from the employer in respect of the employment;
“ sexual orientation” means heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual orientation;
F10 [ ‘ Traveller community ’ means the community of people commonly so called who are identified (both by themselves and others) as people with a shared history, culture and traditions including, historically, a nomadic way of life on the island of Ireland; ]
“ vocational training” shall be construed in accordance with F4 [ section 12(2) ; ] F11 [ and cognate words or expressions shall be construed accordingly. ]
(2) For the purposes of this Act, two employers shall be taken to be associated if one is a body corporate of which the other (whether directly or indirectly) has control or if both are bodies corporate of which a third person (whether directly or indirectly) has control.
(3) For the purposes of this Act—
( a) a person holding office under, or in the service of, the State (including a member of the Garda Síochána or the Defence Forces) or otherwise as a civil servant, within the meaning of the Civil Service Regulation Act, 1956, shall be deemed to be an employee employed by the State or Government, as the case may be, under a contract of service,
( b) an officer or servant of a local authority for the purposes of the Local Government Act, 1941, a harbour authority, a health board or a F12 [ member of staff of an education and training board ] shall be deemed to be an employee employed by the authority F12 [ or board ], as the case may be, under a contract of service, F9 [ … ]
( c) in relation to an agency worker, the person who is liable for the pay of the agency worker shall be deemed to be the employer.
F11 [ ( d ) in the case of a contract mentioned in paragraph ( b )(i) of the definition of ‘ contract of employment ’ —
(i) references in this Act to an employee shall be construed as references to the party to the contract who agrees personally to execute the work or service concerned and references to an employer as references to the person for whom it is to be executed,
(ii) any comparisons to be made for any of those purposes shall be between persons personally executing work or service for the same person or an associated person under such a contract or contracts, and
(iii) in particular, and without prejudice to the gener a ality of the foregoing, references in sections 19(4)( a ) and 22(1)(a) to employees shall be construed as references to those persons. ]
(4) In this Act a reference to “ conditions of employment” does not include remuneration or pension rights.
(5) A person who, under a contract with an employment agency, within the meaning of the Employment Agency Act, 1971, obtains the services of one or more agency workers but is not their employer for the purposes of this Act is in this Act referred to, in relation to the agency workers, as the “ provider of agency work”.
(6) In this Act a reference to a Part or section is to a Part or section of this Act, unless it is indicated that reference to some other enactment is intended.
(7) In this Act a reference to a subsection or paragraph is to the subsection or paragraph of the provision in which the reference occurs, unless it is indicated that reference to some other provision is intended.
(8) In this Act a reference to an enactment includes a reference to that enactment as amended by or under any other enactment, including this Act.
Substituted (1.01.2016) by Equality (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2015 (43/2015), s. 3, S.I. No. 610 of 2015.
Inserted (1.01.2011) by Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 (24/2010), s. 102(2)(a), S.I. No. 648 of 2010.
Inserted (18.07.2004) by Equality Act 2004 (24/2004), s. 3(a)(iii), commenced on enactment.
Substituted (18.07.2004) by Equality Act 2004 (24/2004), s. 3(a)(i) and (ii), commenced on enactment.
Substituted (1.10.2015) by Workplace Relations Act 2015 (16/2015), s. 83(1)(c)(ii), S.I. No. 410 of 2015, subject to transitional provision in subs. (2).
Substituted (2.08.2011) by Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011 (23/2011), s. 19, commenced on enactment.
Deleted (1.01.2011) by Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 (24/2010), s. 102(2)(b), S.I. No. 648 of 2010.
Inserted (1.01.2011) by Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 (24/2010), s. 102(2)(c), S.I. No. 648 of 2010.
Deleted (18.07.2004) by Equality Act 2004 (24/2004), s. 3(a)(iv) and (b)(i), commenced on enactment.
Inserted (25.10.2000) by Equal Status Act 2000 (8/2000), s. 39 and sch. para. (a), S.I. No. 351 of 2000.
Inserted (18.07.2004) by Equality Act 2004 (24/2004), s. 3(a)(ii) and (b)(iii), commenced on enactment.
Substituted (17.07.2013) by Education and Training Boards Act 2013 (11/2013), s. 72 and sch. 6 item 25, S.I. No. 211 of 2013 .
Modifications (not altering text):
References to “Equality Authority” construed (1.11.2014) by Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014 (25/2014), s. 44(2), S.I. No. 449 of 2014.
Transfer of functions to Commission
(2) References in any enactment or instrument under an enactment to the Human Rights Commission or the Equality Authority, as the case may be (howsoever described) shall be construed as references to the Commission save where other provision is made as respects the construction of the first-mentioned references by any enactment passed before the passing of this Act.
Previous affecting provision: definition of “discrimination” inserted (25.10.2000) by Equal Status Act 2000 (8/2000), s. 39 and sch. para. (a)(i), S.I. No. 351 of 2000; substituted as per F-note above.