In Ireland, discrimination has a specific meaning under the Employment Equality Acts 1998 and 2004 and the Equal Status Acts 2000 and 2004. It is described as the treatment of a person in a less favourable way than another person is, has been or would be treated in a comparable situation on any of the following nine grounds:
There are different types of discrimination covered by legislation:
Direct discrimination occurs when a person is treated less favourably than another, in similar circumstances, based on one of the nine grounds.
Indirect discrimination is about practices or policies, which seem fair at first sight but which in effect, either intentionally or more often un-intentionally, result in discrimination against a minority ethnic group or groups.
Discrimination by association happens when a person associated with another person who belongs to a particular ethnic minority is treated less favourably because of that association.
If you feel you have been discriminated against in relation to employment or the provision of goods and services, you may be protected by equality legislation and you can report the incident to the Equality Authority.
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The Employment Equality Acts, 1998 and 2004 prohibit direct and indirect discrimination in employment across the nine grounds. The Act covers advertising of a vacancy, equal pay, access to employment, vocational training and work experience, terms and conditions of employment, promotion or re-grading, classification of posts, dismissal and collective agreements.
The Equal Status Acts, 2000 and 2004 prohibits discrimination when trying to access goods and services on the nine grounds.
The Act applies to people who:
Examples of services include:
If you have questions in relation to discrimination, you should contact the Equality Authority at Birchgrove House, Roscrea, Co. Tipperary or 2 Clonmel Street, Dublin 2.
While the Equality Authority can provide you with information and assistance, it is the Equality Tribunal where official complaints in relation to equality legislation can be lodged. The Equality Tribunal is the impartial forum to hear or mediate complaints of alleged discrimination under equality legislation. It is independent and quasi-judicial and its decisions and mediated settlements are legally binding.
Make a careful record of the incident and keep copies of all correspondence of your complaint, including completed forms.
Contact witnesses to the incident and gather evidence that will support your complaint, for example a written report by a doctor confirming your injuries if you suffered an assault.
If it is a racist crime, you should report this to the Gardaí (police).
Racist crime can include:
A racist incident is any incident perceived to be racially motivated by:
If you believe that you are a victim of a racist crime you should report it to your local Garda station or in an emergency dial 999 or 112. You can also contact the Garda Racial, Intercultural and Diversity Office
Harcourt Square, Harcourt Street, Dublin 2
Telephone: 01 6663150/3817
You can also report racist incidents to the Immigrant Council of Ireland. The Immigrant Council of Ireland's Racist Incident Supports and Referral Service provides a range of supports to people who have experienced or witnessed racism. The service is available from 10am to 12.30pm and 2pm to 4pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
Telephone: 01 6458058
Irish Human Rights Commission works to ensure that the human rights of all people in the State are fully realised and protected, in law, in policy and in practice: www.ihrc.ie
Fourth Floor, Jervis House, Jervis Street, Dublin 1
Telephone: 01 8589601
This project is co-financed by the European Commission under the European Integration Fund and is supported by the Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration in the Dept of Justice & Equality & Pobal.