General exemptions to the law on discrimination in the workplace

There are some situations in which the Employment Equality Acts 1998 – 2015 (the EEA), which deal with discrimination in the workplace, do not apply.  These are known as exemptions.

The EEA include some general exemptions which apply to all types of employment.  These include:

  • Competence: Employers do not have to hire or keep someone who is not able to do the job properly. However, if a person with a disability could do the job if changes were made to the workplace or the job itself, the employer has to make the changes. The EEA call these changes appropriate measures.  However, there are limits on what employers have to do. Employers does not have to make changes if they can show that there would be a disproportionate burden related to appropriate measures.
  • Qualifications: Employers can specify educational, technical and professional qualifications which are needed to do a job. They can reject applicants who do not have those qualifications.

The EEA also cover other kinds of exemptions:

Click on the links to find out if these other exemptions apply to your situation.