Exemptions which apply to particular kinds of employment

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.

Some exemptions apply to particular kinds of employment:

Employment in another person’s home

When personal care is provided in a person’s home (for example, child-minding, personal assistance) the employer is not subject to the EEA during the recruitment process.

Example the employer can say which gender the employee should be.  However, once the person is employed they are entitled to the same terms and conditions as other workers, and are protected by the EEA like everyone else.

State employees

Some State employees have to fulfill particular criteria, such as to be an Irish citizen, speak Irish fluently or live in a particular area.

Certain rules apply only to State employees. For example:

  • different rules concerning the age and disability grounds apply to members of the Defence Forces
  • the Gardaí and the Prison Service can give some tasks either only to men or only to women: these usually apply to privacy issues (like body-searching) or to controlling crowds or violent individuals
  • the Gardaí and the Prison Service are allowed to recruit more employees of one gender if they need them.

Other kinds of State employees, such as local authority workers and health service employees, may also be the subject of exemptions.

The EEA also includes two other kinds of exemption:

Click on the links to find out if they apply to your situation.