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Equality Law in Ireland

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Presentation on theme: "Equality Law in Ireland"— Presentation transcript:

1 Equality Law in Ireland
The Disability Ground

2 The Legislation Irish legislation:
Employment Equality Acts 1998 and 2011, Equal Status Acts 2000 to 2011 Pensions Acts 1990 to 2012 EC law: Article 19 (ex Article 13) EU Treaty, Gender Directives, Race Directive, Framework Directive

3 Scope of the legislation
Protection against prohibited conduct on the disability ground: Employment Equality Acts: Apply to all aspects of employment, including access to employment, advertising, vocational training, membership of trade unions and occupational bodies, and collective agreements

4 Protection Extends To:
Direct and indirect discrimination Previous, future, imputed disability Disability-based harassment Victimisation

5 Definition of Disability
Total or partial absence of bodily/mental functions Presence of organisms likely to cause chronic disease /illness Malfunction/malformation/disfigurement of body Condition/malfunction resulting in learning differently, or Condition/illness/disease affecting thought processes, perception of reality, emotions or judgment, or resulting in disturbed behaviour

6 What has been defined as a disability
Epilepsy Alcoholism Depression Aspergers Syndrome Narcolepsy Asthma Not Stress

7 Reasonable Accommodation section 16
Employers not required to recruit or retain a person who is not fully competent to carry out duties. Person with a disability is assumed competent and fully capable of duties... provided Employers take appropriate measures which are effective and practical Unless disproportionate burden

8 The test for reasonable accommodation I
A Health and Fitness Club -v- A Worker Labour Court Determination No. EED037 - (case upheld on appeal to the Circuit Court)

9 The test for reasonable accommodation II
The nature and extent of the enquiries which an employer should make will depend on the circumstances of each case. At a minimum, however, an employer, should ensure that he or she is in full possession of all the material facts concerning the employee's condition ….. The employee must also be allowed an opportunity to influence the employer's decision. In practical terms this will normally require a two-stage enquiry, which looks firstly at the factual position concerning the employee's capability including the degree of impairment arising from the disability and its likely duration. This would involve looking at the medical evidence available to the employer either from the employee's doctors or obtained independently. Secondly, if it is apparent that the employee is not fully capable, s.16(3) of the Act requires the employer to consider what if any special treatment or facilities may be available by which the employee can become fully capable.

10 Caselaw Grimes v Iarnrod Eireann: DEC-2012-043
Graham v Atolvo Enterprises Ltd: DEC An Employee v A Government Department DEC A Manager v A Food Production Company: DEC

11 Caselaw Murray v Premair Marketing Services Ltd: DEC-2012-085
Quirke v Sepam Specialists Ltd:DEC An Employee v A Logistics Company: DEC A Prison Officer v The Prison Service: DEC

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