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Ireland: Equal opportunities

Original authors: Mark Carley and Dr Tony Dobbins
Updating author: Mark Carley


  • Discrimination in employment is prohibited on various grounds. (See General - the nine grounds)
  • Difference in treatment on the prohibited grounds is permitted in certain circumstances. (See General exemptions)
  • There are various legal rules specific to discrimination on each of the prohibited grounds. (See Specific provisions)
  • Sexual harassment and harassment are prohibited in the workplace or in the course of employment and are treated as discrimination by the employer. (See Harassment and sexual harassment)
  • Employees are protected against victimisation. (See Victimisation)
  • Employers may take positive action to ensure full equality in practice between employees. (See Positive action)
  • Claims under the employment equality legislation are dealt with, in the first instance, by the Workplace Relations Commission, whose determinations are legally binding. (See Remedies and penalties)
  • The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission may invite employers and employees to conduct equality reviews or audits and implement equality action plans. (See Equality reviews and action plans)