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B. Key Considerations

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The Employment Equality Acts set out to prevent discrimination against Employees, agency workers and applicants for employment.  The purpose of the Acts is to eliminate discrimination in relation to employment and to provide a framework of enforcement to achieve this aim.  The legislation sets out 9 grounds on which discrimination is prohibited, and also sets out complaints procedures for a person to make a claim in relation to any act of discrimination to which they are subjected.  The legislation protects persons complaining of discrimination from victimisation, and prohibits employment related harassment and sexual harassment.

Application of the Legislation

The Employment Equality Acts prohibit discrimination in relation to:

  • Access to employment – i.e. all matters related to the recruitment and selection process including advertising of posts (see Section Recruitment for further details)
  • Conditions of employment – benefits provided, allocation of work, treatment (including harassment or sexual harassment), pay, dismissal
  • Training or experience – provision and arrangement of work related training or provision of experience
  • Promotion or regrading – the recruitment and selection process involved in promotions, or regrading of posts
  • Classification of posts – the job titles used to describe a position

The 9 Discriminatory Grounds

The Act seeks to protect applicants for employment and Employees from discrimination arising on any of 9 protected grounds. Discrimination arises where one person is treated less favourably than another in similar circumstances.

The Employment Equality Acts set out 9 protected grounds, these grounds are as follow:

  1. Gender
  2. Civil Status
  3. Family Status
  4. Sexual Orientation
  5. Disability
  6. Age
  7. Race
  8. Religion
  9. Membership of the Traveller Community

It is illegal to discriminate, either directly or indirectly, based on any of the above grounds. Not only has the Organisation an obligation to not discriminate, but it is also obligated to ensure that no person discriminates while acting on behalf of the Organisation.