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‘Socio-economic discrimination’ could be a matter for law
Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Roderic O'Gorman Pic: RollingNews.ie

06 Jul 2021 / legislation Print

Socio-economic bias could be a matter for equality law

A public consultation process has started as part of a review of the Equality Acts (Equal Status Acts 2000-2018 and the Employment Equality Acts 1998-2015).

Roderic O’Gorman (Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth), has invited submissions on a range of issues including:

  • Functioning of the acts and their effectiveness in combatting discrimination and promoting equality,
  • Awareness of the legislation by the public, from the perspective of the person taking a claim under its redress mechanisms,
  • Whether there are obstacles to taking an action under the acts, and the degree to which those experiencing discrimination are aware of the legislation,
  • Scope of the current definitions of the nine equality grounds, and whether new grounds should be added, such as the ground of socio-economic discrimination,
  • Whether the legislation adequately addresses ‘intersectionality’ or ‘the intersection of discrimination’ across a number of grounds,
  • Whether existing exemptions in the legislation should be modified or removed,
  • A review of current definitions, including in relation to disability.

Minister O’Gorman said: “Public consultation is central to this review of the Equality Acts.

“The Equality Acts need to be robust and effective, and reflect the lived reality of our citizens and our society.

“The views of those who have experienced discrimination and have experienced the operation of the acts will help inform the review process and will contribute to any outcomes.”


The Government will draw on the findings of this consultation to inform the areas of consideration in the legislation.

The recommendations arising from the review may take the form of recommendations for legislative changes, for policy development or for changes to the practical operation of the redress mechanisms.

The closing date is 29 October at 5pm, and submissions can be returned to equalitypolicy@equality.gov.ie.

All submissions are subject to release under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2014, and are also subject to data-protection legislation.

Further consultations are planned for autumn 2021.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland