Equal Status Act 2000

Discrimination (general).


3.F9[(1) For the purposes of this Act discrimination shall be taken to occur

(a) where a person is treated less favourably than another person is, has been or would be treated in a comparable situation F10[on any of the grounds specified in subsection (2) or, if appropriate, subsection (3B),] (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) where 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,


(c) where an apparently neutral provision F10[would put a person] referred to in any paragraph of section 3(2) at a particular disadvantage compared with other persons, unless the provision is objectively justified by a legitimate aim and the means of achieving that aim are appropriate and necessary.]

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

(a) that one is male and the other is female (the “gender ground”),

(b) that they are of different F11[civil status] (the “F11[civil status] ground”),

(c) that one has family status and the other does not or that one has a different family status from the other (the “family status ground”),

(d) that they are of different sexual orientation (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 (the “religion ground”),

(f) subject to subsection (3), that they are of different ages (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 (the “disability ground”),

(h) that they are of different race, colour, nationality or ethnic or national origins (the “ground of race”),

(i) that one is a member of the Traveller community and the other is not (the “Traveller community ground”),

(j) that one—

(i) has in good faith applied for any determination or redress provided for in Part II or III,

(ii) has attended as a witness before the Authority, the F12[adjudication officer] or a court in connection with any inquiry or proceedings under this Act,

(iii) has given evidence in any criminal proceedings under this Act,

(iv) has opposed by lawful means an act which is unlawful under this Act, or

(v) has given notice of an intention to take any of the actions specified in subparagraphs (i) to (iv),

and the other has not (the “victimisation ground”).

F9[(3) (a) Treating a person who has not attained the age of 18 years less favourably or more favourably than another, whatever that persons age shall not be regarded as discrimination on the age ground.

(b) Paragraph (a) does not apply in relation to the provision of motor vehicle insurance to licensed drivers under that age.

(3A) In any proceedings statistics are admissible for the purpose of determining whether discrimination has occurred by virtue of subsection (1)(c).]

F13[(3B) For the purposes of section 6(1)(c), the discriminatory grounds shall (in addition to the grounds specified in subsection (2)) include the ground that as between any two persons, that one is in receipt of rent supplement (within the meaning of section 6(8)), housing assistance (construed in accordance with Part 4 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2014) or any payment under the Social Welfare Acts and the other is not (the housing assistance ground).]

(4) The Minister shall, not later than two years after the commencement of this section, review the operation of this Act to assess whether there is a need to add to the discriminatory grounds specified in subsection (2).




Substituted and inserted (18.07.2004) by Equality Act 2004 (24/2004), s. 48(a) and (b), commenced on enactment.


Substituted (1.01.2016) by Equality (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2015 (43/2015), s. 13(a)(i) and (ii), S.I. No. 610 of 2015.


Substituted (1.01.2011) by Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 (24/2010), s. 103(3), S.I. No. 648 of 2010.


Substituted (1.10.2015) by Workplace Relations Act 2015 (16/2015), s. 84(1)(c), S.I. No. 410 of 2015, subject to transitional provision in subs. (2).


Inserted (1.01.2016) by Equality (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2015 (43/2015), s. 13(b), S.I. 610 of 2015.