Employment Equality Act 1998
Discrimination: General Provisions
Discrimination for the purposes of this Act.
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 —
(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 ’ . ]
Substituted (18.07.2004) by Equality Act 2004 (24/2004), s. 4(a) and (c), commenced on enactment.
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.
Substituted (25.10.2000) by Equal Status Act 2000 (8/2000), s. 39 and sch. para. (b), S.I. No. 351 of 2000.
Inserted (18.07.2004) by Equality Act 2004 (24/2004), s. 4(b), commenced on enactment.
Substituted (1.01.2016) by Equality (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2015 (43/2015), s. 4, S.I. No. 610 of 2015.