Equal Status Act, 2000

Discrimination (general).

3.—(1) For the purposes of this Act, discrimination shall be taken to occur where—

(a) on any of the grounds specified in subsection (2) (in this Act referred to as “the discriminatory grounds”) which exists at present or previously existed but no longer exists or may exist in the future, or which is imputed to the person concerned, a person is treated less favourably than another person is, has been or would be treated,

(b)  (i) a person who is associated with another person is treated, by virtue of that association, less favourably than a person who is not so associated is, has been or would be treated, and

(ii) similar treatment of that person on any of the discriminatory grounds would, by virtue of paragraph (a), constitute discrimination,


(c)  (i) a person is in a category of persons who share a common characteristic by reason of which discrimination may, by virtue of paragraph (a), occur in respect of those persons,

(ii) the person is obliged by the provider of a service (within the meaning of section 4 (6)) to comply with a condition (whether in the nature of a requirement, practice or otherwise) but is unable to do so,

(iii) substantially more people outside the category than within it are able to comply with the condition, and

(iv) the obligation to comply with the condition cannot be justified as being reasonable in all the circumstances of the case.

(2) As between any two persons, the discriminatory grounds (and the descriptions of those grounds for the purposes of this Act) are:

(a) that one is male and the other is female (the “gender ground”),

(b) that they are of different marital status (the “marital status ground”),

(c) that one has family status and the other does not or that one has a different family status from the other (the “family status ground”),

(d) that they are of different sexual orientation (the “sexual orientation ground”),

(e) that one has a different religious belief from the other, or that one has a religious belief and the other has not (the “religion ground”),

(f) subject to subsection (3), that they are of different ages (the “age ground”),

(g) that one is a person with a disability and the other either is not or is a person with a different disability (the “disability ground”),

(h) that they are of different race, colour, nationality or ethnic or national origins (the “ground of race”),

(i) that one is a member of the Traveller community and the other is not (the “Traveller community ground”),

(j) that one—

(i) has in good faith applied for any determination or redress provided for in Part II or III,

(ii) has attended as a witness before the Authority, the Director or a court in connection with any inquiry or proceedings under this Act,

(iii) has given evidence in any criminal proceedings under this Act,

(iv) has opposed by lawful means an act which is unlawful under this Act, or

(v) has given notice of an intention to take any of the actions specified in subparagraphs (i) to (iv),

and the other has not (the “victimisation ground”).

(3) Treating a person who has not attained the age of 18 years less favourably or more favourably than another, whatever that other person's age, shall not be regarded as discrimination on the age ground.

(4) The Minister shall, not later than two years after the commencement of this section, review the operation of this Act to assess whether there is a need to add to the discriminatory grounds specified in subsection (2).