At Prospect Law, we see women being discriminated against on a daily basis, in the workplace, in relation to motherhood, and equality of access to services. To be discriminated against is to be treated less favourably than others doing the same work, for example, on the grounds of gender, marital or family status. You may also be discriminated against in areas such as housing and health care, where issues of access to both public and private services have arisen. Arbitrary discrimination is unlawful in Ireland. The Employment Equality Acts 1998-2015 prohibit discrimination and victimisation.

If you believe you have been subjected to discrimination or victimisation, get in touch without delay. We deal with discrimination and victimisation by informing clients about their rights, and taking swift action on their instructions.

Discrimination in the workplace

Pay discrimination is widespread in Ireland. According to the Central Statistics Office, women are paid 14 per cent less than men, and the gender gap is widening. Other forms of discrimination may be more invidious. A woman who returns to work from maternity leave, for example, to find her employment terms or working conditions changed without prior consultation is discriminated against, as is a woman who, despite her efforts to do so, fails to gain promotion in a large company. And if your employer targets you for making a complaint or for being a witness to one, you are being victimised.

Discrimination in housing

Lone parents, who tend overwhelmingly to be women, are disadvantaged on every housing front, according to the Economic and Social Research Institute. If a lone parent mother is refused a new tenancy or is evicted because her rent comes from her single parent or social protection allowance, this could be deemed an illegal eviction, and she has grounds for making a complaint to the Private Residential Tenancy Board.

Making a claim

If you wish to make a claim of discrimination in the workplace or in relation to the provision of a public service, you can do so online by filling out the relevant form on the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) website. You generally have six months within which to make a complaint to the WRC, but this time limit can be extended in certain circumstances.

If you are facing eviction on the grounds of discrimination, you must lodge your complaint to the Private Residential Tenancy Board (PRTB). Any dispute about a proposed rent increase must be referred to the PRTB before the increase is due to take effect or within 28 days of receiving formal notice of the new rent (whichever is the later). Notice of termination of tenancy, if disputed, must also be referred to the Board: the same time limit applies.