What are the Employment Equality Acts 1998-2011?
The Employment Equality Acts 1998 to 2011, cover employees in both the public and private sectors as well as applicants for employment and training.
The Acts outlaw discrimination in work related areas such as pay, vocational training, access to employment, work experience and promotion. Cases involving harassment and victimisation at work are also covered by the Acts. The publication of discriminatory advertisments and discrimination by employment agencies, vocational training bodies and employment agencies, e.g. trades unions and employer associations, is outlawed. Collective agreements may be referred to the Equality Tribunal for mediation or investigation.
Anyone who feels they have been discriminated against may refer a complaint to The Equality Tribunal through Workplace Relations Customer Services within 6 months of the occurence of the act of discrimination. The Director of the Tribunal may extend this to a maximum of 12 months, if the complainant shows that there is reasonable cause to do so.
The nine grounds on which discrimination is outlawed by the Employment Equality Acts are as follows:
- Civil status
- Family status
- Sexual orientation
- Religious belief
- Race colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins
- Membership of the Traveller community
Where the Tribunal Equality Officer finds that there has been discrimination s/he may require that a particular course of action be undertaken and/or award:
In an equal pay case:
Equal pay and up to three years' arrears of pay from the date of the claim.
In other cases:
Equal treatment and compensation of up to a maximum of 104 weeks pay (or €12,697 (£10,000) where the person was not an employee) in discriminatory treatment cases and compensation up to a maximum of 104 weeks re-instatment or re-employment in discriminatory dismissal cases.
Decisions may be appealed to the Labour Court within 42 days from the date of the Decision. If a Decision or Mediated Agreement is not complied with, it may be enforced through the Circuit Court.