Skip to main content

Employment Equality Complaints – January to June 2023

Publication re Employment Equality Complaints

Workplace Relations Commission

Employment Equality Complaints – January to June 2023

17 August 2023

Anna Perry, (Acting) Director General of the Workplace Relations (WRC) noted the publication today (16th August 2023) of statistics in relation to employment equality complaints received in the first six months of 2023. The WRC committed to publish these statistics every six months, disaggregated by the nine grounds of discrimination. This was one of the actions contained in the “National Strategy for Women and Girls 2017-2020: creating a better society for all. The strategy is intended to respond to women’s needs across a diversity of identities and situations. The strategy sets out a series of actions to promote women’s equality in the workplace, in politics, in sport, and in the arts.

Ms Perry indicated that the three leading grounds for employment equality complaints submitted during the first six months of 2023 was “disability” (24%) closely followed by “gender” (21%), followed by “race” at 15%, however it is too early to say if this trend will change for the full year.

Breakdown of Complaints Received under Discrimination/Equality/Equal Status during January to June 2023 period

Equal Status






Breakdown for Equality specific complaints



Civil Status




Family Status




Membership of the Travelling Community






Sexual Orientation


Total Grounds Selected


Note:  Of the 466 Employment Equality complaints received, this showed 672 results, when viewing the grounds, as the complainant can choose more than one ground when they make the specific complaint. So some specific complaints would have more than 1 ground.

While we also received 222 Equal Status complaints these are not relevant to the strategy as equal status relates to goods and services.

Ms Perry highlighted the critically important role the WRC can play for persons who want to make a complaint about any discrimination. We are working with our stakeholders to deliver this key message – the place to make a complaint about discrimination is to the WRC. The WRC has recently developed some animated videos on a range of topics, including Mediation, Adjudication Hearing, Advisory Reviews etc, but there are also specific videos relating to discrimination at work as covered by the Employment Equality Acts and discrimination in relation to the provision of goods or services, as covered by the Equal Status Acts. These videos are available on the WRC website in a range of languages.

Making a complaint is free and can be done on line, and both sides can expect the WRC to give them both a hearing and a decision promptly.”

Note for Information

The National Strategy for Women and Girls 2017 -2020: creating a better society for all was launched by the Minister for Justice and Equality in April 2017. A copy of the strategy is available at the link below.

National Strategy for Women and Girls 2017-2020

The Employment Equality Acts 1998 to 2011 cover employees in both the public and private sectors as well as applicants for employment and training.

The Acts outlaw discrimination in work-related areas such as pay, vocational training, access to employment, work experience and promotion. Cases involving harassment and victimisation at work are also covered by the Acts. The publication of discriminatory advertisements and discrimination by employers, vocational training bodies and employment agencies, e.g. trades unions and employer associations, is outlawed. Collective agreements may be referred to the Workplace Relations Commission for mediation or investigation.

The nine grounds on which discrimination is outlawed by the Employment Equality Acts are as follows:


Civil status

Family status

Sexual orientation

Religious belief



Race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins

Membership of the Traveller community