Key pieces of equality legislation:
– Employability Equality Acts 1998-2015 prohibit discrimination in employment, including recruitment, promotion, pay and other conditions of employment.
– Equal Status Acts 2000-2015 prohibit discrimination in access to and provision of services, including education.
These pieces of legislation prohibit discrimination and harassment on nine specified grounds:
• Gender: a person’s gender identity including male, female, other.
• Civil status: a person’s civil status, be it single, married, separated, divorced, widowed, civil partner, former civil partner.
• Family status: being pregnant, a parent of a person under 18 years, or the resident primary carer or parent of a person with a disability;
• Age: a person’s age, this does not apply to a person aged under 16. Children are covered by Child Protection legislation.
• Race and ethnicity: a particular race, skin colour, nationality or ethnic origin;
• Religion: a person’s religious belief, background, outlook or none;
• Disability: includes people with physical, intellectual, learning, cognitive or emotional disabilities and a range of medical conditions;
• Sexual orientation: a person’s sexual orientation including gay, lesbian, bisexual, or heterosexual;
• Membership of the Traveller community: people who are commonly called Travellers, who are identified both by Travellers and others as people with a shared history, culture and traditions, identified historically as a nomadic way of life on the island of Ireland.
The Institutes of Technology Act 2006 places obligations on Governing Bodies to promote equality and diversity among the students and staff of Institutes, specifically with regard to gender balance, and access.
The Disability Act 2005 places obligations on public bodies to provide integrated access to services and information to people with disabilities, as well as promoting the employment of people with disabilities.
Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014 requires that in the performance of their functions public bodies shall have regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, promote equality of opportunity and treatment and protect the human rights of staff and service users.