Employment Equality Act 1998

PART II

Discrimination: General Provisions

Introductory

Discrimination for the purposes of this Act.

6

6. F14 [ (1) For the purposes of this Act and without prejudice to its provisions relating to discrimination occurring in particular circumstances discrimination shall be taken to occur where

( a ) a person is treated less favourably than another person is, has been or would be treated in a comparable situation on any of the grounds specified in subsection (2) (in this Act referred to as the discriminatory grounds ) which

(i) exists,

(ii) existed but no longer exists,

(iii) may exist in the future, or

(iv) is imputed to the person concerned,

( b ) a person who is associated with another person

(i) is treated, by virtue of that association, less favourably than a person who is not so associated is, has been or would be treated in a comparable situation, and

(ii) similar treatment of that other person on any of the discriminatory grounds would, by virtue of paragraph (a) , constitute discrimination. ]

(2) As between any 2 persons, the discriminatory grounds (and the descriptions of those grounds for the purposes of this Act) are—

( a) that one is a woman and the other is a man (in this Act referred to as “ the gender ground”),

( b) that they are of different F15 [ civil status ] (in this Act referred to as “ the F15 [ civil status ] ground ”),

( c) that one has family status and the other does not (in this Act referred to as “ the family status ground”),

( d) that they are of different sexual orientation (in this Act referred to as “ the sexual orientation ground”),

( e) that one has a different religious belief from the other, or that one has a religious belief and the other has not (in this Act referred to as “ the religion ground”),

( f) that they are of different ages, but subject to subsection (3) (in this Act referred to as “ the age ground”),

( g) that one is a person with a disability and the other either is not or is a person with a different disability (in this Act referred to as “ the disability ground”),

( h) that they are of different race, colour, nationality or ethnic or national origins (in this Act referred to as “ the ground of race”),

( i) that one is a member of the F16 [ Traveller ] community and the other is not (in this Act referred to as “ the F16 [ Traveller ] community ground ”).

F17 [ (2A) Without prejudice to the generality of subsections (1) and (2) , discrimination on the gender ground shall be taken to occur where, on a ground related to her pregnancy or maternity leave, a woman employee is treated, contrary to any statutory requirement, less favourably than another employee is, has been or would be treated. ]

F14 [ (3)     ( a ) The age ground applies only in relation to persons above the maximum age at which a person is statutorily obliged to attend school.

( b )     Notwithstanding subsection (1) and section 37(2) , an employer may set a minimum age, not exceeding 18 years, for recruitment to a post.

F18 [ (c) Offering a fixed term contract to a person over the compulsory retirement age for that employment or to a particular class or description of employees in that employment shall not be taken as constituting discrimination on the age ground if

(i) it is objectively and reasonably justified by a legitimate aim, and

(ii) the means of achieving that aim are appropriate and necessary. ]

( d )     Subsection (1)(b) of section 2 (exclusions) of the Unfair Dismissals Act 1977 is amended by deleting or who on that date was a person to whom by reason of his age the Redundancy Payments Acts 1967 to 1973, did not apply and inserting or who on that date had not attained the age of 16 years . ]

Annotations:

Amendments:

F14

Substituted (18.07.2004) by Equality Act 2004 (24/2004), s. 4(a) and (c), commenced on enactment.

F15

Substituted (1.01.2011) by Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 (24/2010), s. 102(3), S.I. No. 648 of 2010.

F16

Substituted (25.10.2000) by Equal Status Act 2000 (8/2000), s. 39 and sch. para. (b), S.I. No. 351 of 2000.

F17

Inserted (18.07.2004) by Equality Act 2004 (24/2004), s. 4(b), commenced on enactment.

F18

Substituted (1.01.2016) by Equality (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2015 (43/2015), s. 4, S.I. No. 610 of 2015.