Employment Equality: What you need to know about discrimination in the workplace

What is discrimination in the workplace?

Discrimination in the workplace can happen when your employer, workmate, or a company you are applying to, treat you less favourably than another person, because of who you are.

The law which deals with discrimination in the workplace is the Employment Equality Acts 1998-2015 (EEA). The EEA aim to ensure that people have equal opportunities in relation to skills, training, jobs and promotion.

The EEA explain the different kinds of discrimination in relation to the workplace which are against the law. The EEA outlaw certain kinds of discrimination under nine specific grounds. This means that the EEA do not cover every form of discrimination.

The EEA apply to many kinds of people and organisation, including for example:

  • full-time, part-time and temporary workers
  • people working for the public sector or, private companies
  • organisations which provide training for job skills (for example, vocational training)
  • employment agencies
  • trade unions
  • professional and trade bodies
  • self-employed contractors, partners in partnerships and office-holders in State organisations and local authorities.

Volunteers are not covered by the EEA.

The EEA cover many aspects of work and jobs, including:

  • job advertisements
  • equal pay
  • recruitment
  • training
  • work experience
  • contracts, terms and conditions
  • promotion and re-grading
  • losing your job (dismissal)
  • collective agreements (agreements between an employer and a trade union about pay or conditions of employment).