Employment Equality Act, 1998

Vocational training.

12.—(1) Subject to subsection (7) any person, including an educational or training body, who offers a course of vocational training shall not, in respect of any such course offered to persons over the maximum age at which those persons are statutorily obliged to attend school, discriminate against a person (whether at the request of an employer, a trade union or a group of employers or trade unions or otherwise)—

(a) in the terms on which any such course or related facility is offered,

(b) by refusing or omitting to afford access to any such course or facility, or

(c) in the manner in which any such course or facility is provided.

(2) In this section “vocational training” means any system of instruction which enables a person being instructed to acquire, maintain, bring up to date or perfect the knowledge or technical capacity required for the carrying on of an occupational activity and which may be considered as exclusively concerned with training for such an activity.

(3) For the purposes of this section, section 6 (3)(b) shall have effect as if the reference to the age of 18 years were a reference to the age referred to in subsection (1).

(4) For the purposes of ensuring the availability of nurses to hospitals and teachers to primary schools which are under the direction or control of a body established for religious purposes or whose objectives include the provision of services in an environment which promotes certain religious values, and in order to maintain the religious ethos of the hospitals or primary schools, the prohibition of discrimination in subsection (1), in so far as it relates to discrimination on the religion ground, shall not apply in respect of—

(a) the nomination of persons for admission to the School of Nursing pursuant to clause 24(4)(a) or (c) of the Adelaide Hospital Charter as substituted by paragraph 5(s) of the Health Act, 1970 (Section 76) (Adelaide and Meath Hospital, Dublin, incorporating the National Children's Hospital) Order, 1996, or

(b) places in a vocational training course specified in an order made under subsection (5).

(5) Where an educational or training body applies to the Minister for Health and Children, in the case of hospitals, or to the Minister for Education and Science, in the case of primary schools, for an order permitting the body concerned to reserve places in a vocational training course offered by the body, the Minister for Health and Children or the Minister for Education and Science, as the case may be, may, with the consent of the Minister, by order allow the body to reserve places in such numbers as seem reasonably necessary to the Minister for Health and Children or the Minister for Education and Science, as the case may be, to meet the purposes set out in subsection (4).

(6) Without prejudice to section 3 (1), an order under subsection (5) may be revoked by a further order made by the Minister for Health and Children or the Minister for Education and Science, as the case may be, with the like consent; but any such revocation order shall contain transitional provisions safeguarding any person who took advantage of the effect of the order when it was in force.

(7) Nothing in subsection (1) shall make unlawful discrimination on the age ground or the ground of race in respect of any course of vocational training offered by a vocational or training body where—

(a) it provides different treatment in relation to—

(i) the fees for admission or attendance at any such course by persons who are citizens of Ireland or nationals of another Member State of the European Union, or

(ii) the allocation of places on any such course to those citizens or nationals, or

(b) it offers assistance to particular categories of persons by way of sponsorships, scholarships, bursaries or other awards, which assistance is reasonably justifiable, having regard to traditional or historical considerations.