What happens when you make a complaint under the Employment Equality Acts

What happens when you make a complaint under the Employment Equality Acts 1998 – 2015 (EEA)

It is the Workplace Relations Commission which looks into claims under the Employment Equality Acts.  They have two ways of doing this:

  • Mediation
  • Adjudication


The mediation officer is a neutral person who will give both you and your employer equal time to give your side of the story.  This might at a meeting, or through other means.

Mediation is voluntary.  Mediation will not take place unless both you and your employer agree to attend.  If you and your employer resolve your complaint through mediation, the terms of the agreement will be legally binding.

Mediation is held in private and is confidential.  Anything said or recorded during mediation cannot be used in any court proceedings, unless the court case relates to a mediation agreement which has broken down.


Some claims are not suitable for mediation, or fail to be resolved by mediation.  In those cases, an adjudication officer will investigate your complaint and make a decision.  This is a private process.  It may be based on written documents, or an oral hearing.  Any decision that an adjudication officer makes is legally binding.

Dismissing a claim

An adjudication officer can dismiss a complaint if they think it is not valid.  For example, they may rule that it is not really discrimination related to one of the nine grounds, or that the complaint does not relate to a serious issue.

You can find out more about what happens when you make a claim, and also about other aspects of the process by contacting the Workplace Relations Commission.