Equality Division develops policy and draft laws to improve equal opportunities and to work towards a more equal society in the area of employment and family friendly policies, and in the access to goods, facilities and services.
We work to promote greater respect for the person and for diversity, equality and cultural difference, mainly through laws and administrative practices.
We also support family-friendly policies through laws on maternity leave, adoptive leave and parental leave.
- The Maternity Protection Acts 1994 and 2004 provide your statutory minimum entitlements in relation to maternity at work including maternity leave.
- The Paternity Leave and Benefit Act 2016 provides fathers with two weeks of paternity leave and two weeks of paternity benefit, for babies born on or after 1 September 2016. This is a significant piece of legislation which recognises the key role that fathers play in the life of newborn babies and young children. The Act can be accessed on the Oireachtas website. Details on how to apply for Paternity Benefit are available on the Department of Social Protection's website. A Regulatory Impact Analysis was prepared in advance of the Act and is available here: Regulatory Impact Assessment
- Under the Adoptive Leave Act 1995, as amended by the Adoptive Leave Act 2005, the adoptive mother is entitled to avail of adoptive leave from employment, except in the case where a male is the sole adopter.
- The Parental Leave Act 1998, as amended by the Parental Leave (Amendment) Act 2006, allows parents to take parental leave from employment in respect of certain children. On 8 March 2013 the European Union (Parental Leave) Regulations 2013 increased the amount of parental leave available to each parent to eighteen weeks per child.
We are currently preparing legislation to consolidate maternity, adoptive, parental and carer’s leave into one piece of legislation, to be known as the Family Leave Bill.
Discrimination occurs when you are treated less favourably than another person because of your:
- civil status
- family status
- sexual orientation
- race (including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins) or
- rembership of the Traveller community.
The Employment Equality Acts 1998–2011 outlaw discrimination at work including recruitment and promotion; equal pay; working conditions; training or experience; dismissal and harassment including sexual harassment.
The Equal Status Acts 2000–2012 outlaw discrimination outside the workplace, in particular in the provision of goods and services, selling renting or leasing property and certain aspects of education.
The Workplace Relations Commission (formerly the Equality Tribunal) investigates or mediates claims of unlawful discrimination under equality legislation.
|Department of Justice|
|2nd Floor, Bishop’s Square|
|Phone (main reception):||+ 353 1 479-0200|
|Fax:||+ 353 1 479-0296|