Employment Equality legislation protects employees from workplace discrimination.
Employers should be cognisant of the nine categories of discrimination protected under the Employment Equality Acts 1998-2015. These are gender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the travelling community.
Company’s should ensure written policies are in place to protect employees against discrimination and to inform employees that discrimination, in any form, will not be tolerated by the company.
Examples of discrimination can include the implementation of a compulsory retirement age, gender pay gaps, and failure to reasonable accommodate an individual suffering with a disability.
We recently acted for an employer defending a claim for discrimination on the basis of family status. The employee in question claimed that they had been selected for redundancy on the basis of having a young family, alleging discriminatory dismissal. The employer successfully defended the claim by evidencing a number of other employees with young families that remained employed, proving that the employee’s family status had not been a factor in their selection for redundancy.
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