20th July 2023
The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (‘the Commission’) has published a second set of recommendations to Government as part of ongoing engagement with the Review of the Equality Acts, including the Equal Status Acts 2000-2018 and the Employment Equality Acts 1998-2015.
As Ireland’s national equality body, the Commission is recommending that equality legislation be changed to include discrimination on the ground of socio-economic status and on the ground of criminal conviction.
On the introduction of a socio-economic status ground, and following two decades of calls for its introduction, the Commission believes “it is a matter of justice that this ground be incorporated into Irish legislation” and its introduction would not only strengthen the effectiveness of the Equality Acts, but would constitute a crucial shift in the equality landscape in Ireland (See page 50 of submission).
On the introduction of a criminal conviction ground, the Commission recommends the inclusion of a broad prohibition on discrimination on the ground of criminal conviction that is not limited to spent convictions, in both the Employment Equality Act and the Equal Status Act, and further research, safeguarding victims’ rights, to be conducted to determine the appropriate exemptions needed in relation to this ground (See page 67 of submission).
In addition, the Commission makes further specific recommendations relating to these grounds including:
The full submission from the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is available at the following link here.