The law prohibits discrimination. Discrimination is the less favourable treatment of one person over another and can be:
  • Direct For example, harassing a gay man over his sexuality.
  • Indirect For example, requesting a large number of written references from all prospective employees, including newly arrived migrant workers. The requirement is likely to put migrant workers at a disadvantage compared with other groups. Unless the employer can justify the requirement and its extent, there may be indirect discrimination against the migrant workers.
  • By association for example, refusing entry to a person to your fundraising event because s/he is accompanied by a particular person, such as a person with a disability.
  • By imputation for example, refusing a service to a person because it is thought the person is a member of the traveller community.
Discrimination is prohibited on nine grounds:
  1. Gender (man, woman, transsexual)
  2. Marital status (single, married, separated, divorced, widowed)
  3. Family status (parent of a child under 18 or resident primary carer or parent of a person with a disability)
  4. Sexual orientation (gay, lesbian, bisexual, heterosexual)
  5. Religion (religious belief, background, outlook, or none)
  6. Age (all ages above the maximum age at which a person is statutorily obliged to attend school)
  7. Disability (people with physical, intellectual, learning, cognitive or emotional disabilities and a range of medical conditions)
  8. Race (race, skin colour, nationality, ethnic origin)
  9. Traveller community (people identified both by travellers and others as having the shared history, culture and traditions of a nomadic way of life on the island of Ireland). 

There are a limited number of defined exceptions to these categories - contact the Equality Authority for further information: http://www.equality.ie