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Does legislation provide for the possibility of adopting special/positive measures prevent or compensate for disadvantages linked to racial or ethnic origin in order to ensure full equality in practice?

Key Area:
Anti-discrimination Legislation & Implementation
Discrimination, Equality
23/02/2012 - 14:10
Short Answer

Working within an EU framework the legislation does allow for the possibility of special/positive action in so far as in EU law positive action is lawful whereas positive discrimination is not. There is also what is referred to as reasonable accommodation which primarily relates to people with disabilities and is compulsory in EU law. Irish law specifically allows for positive action in relation to gender, disability, membership of the Traveller community and for older workers over 50

Qualitative Info

“Positive Action in Politics – Lessons and Challenges from Employment Equality Law” Marion Jennings DIT;  “For positive action measures to be upheld by the ECJ they must be necessary to achieve a legitimate aim, proportionate to the aim they are pursuing and be objectively justified.”

For information on Irelands Reasonable Accommodation policy see the National Disabilities Authority (NDA),

Guidelines for Employment Equality Policies in Enterprises:

Groups affected/interested Migrants, Refugees, Roma & Travelers, Muslims, Ethnic minorities, Religious minorities, Linguistic minorities, Majority, Asylum seekers, Africans/black people, National minorities
Type (R/D) Anti-migrant/xenophobia, Nationalism, On grounds of disability
Key socio-economic / Institutional Areas Employment - labour market, Education, Culture, Political discourse -parties - orgs, Political participation, Anti-discrimination, Anti-racism, Integration - social cohesion, Daily life, Religion
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