General exemptions to the law on discrimination in relation to services

There are some situations in which the Equal Status Acts 2000 – 2018 (ESA), which deal with discrimination in relation to goods and services, do not apply.  These are known as exemptions. The ESA details some general exemptions, including:

  • Other laws: The ESA does not prohibit difference in treatment if another law requires it. For example, it is not against the ESA to refuse a social welfare payment if social welfare law says you are not entitled to it.
  • Nationality: Action taken by a public authority in relation to a non-Irish national who is not lawfully within the State is not prohibited by the ESA.
  • Behaviour: It is not against the ESA to refuse goods, services or accommodation if a service provider has good reason to believe that providing goods or services to a customer would lead to a substantial risk of criminal or disorderly conduct or damage to property.

The Equal Status Acts (ESA) do not cover every possible situation related to discrimination in relation to services:

There are other kinds of exemption:

Click on the links to find out if any of the exemptions apply to your situation.