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This section explains the prohibitions on discrimination in the workplace, including the nine grounds on which discrimination is unlawful.

The 9 Grounds on which Discrimination is Unlawful are:

The grounds on which discrimination is declared unlawful in Ireland are discussed in this document.


A man, a woman or a transsexual person (specific protection is provided for pregnant employees or in relation to maternity leave)

Marital status

Which means single, married, separated, divorced, or widowed.

Family status

This means having responsibility either as a parent or as a person in loco parentis for someone below 18 years of age, or as a parent or resident primary carer for someone 18 years or over with a disability who requires a high degree of support and attention.


In general this means people in employment between the ages of 18 and 65; and people in vocational training between the ages of 15 and 65.


This is broadly defined including people with physical, intellectual, learning, cognitive or emotional disabilities and a range of medical conditions


Includes race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin.

Sexual Orientation

Gay, lesbian, bisexual or heterosexual; (The Court of Justice in PSV held that discrimination against a transsexual constituted discrimination on the grounds of sex.)

Religious Belief

Includes religious background or outlook or lack of religious belief.

Membership of the Traveller community

People who are commonly called Travellers, who are identified both by Travellers and others as people with a shared history, culture and traditions, identified historically as a nomadic way of life on the island of Ireland.

For further information on this topic, please contact:

Name: Equality Authority
Organisation: Equality Authority
Address: Clonmel Street , Dublin 2 , Ireland
Telephone: +353 1 4173333

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