Dáil Éireann - Volume 584 - 27 April, 2004
Written Answers. - Employment Equality Act.
Dr. Upton Dr. Upton
712. Dr. Upton asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the plans he has to extend the Employment Equality Act 1998 to ensure equal rates of pay between employees aged under 18 and those aged over 18 in view of the fact that it is unfair that the former group are generally paid lower rates. [11501/04]
Mr. McDowell Mr. McDowell
Mr. McDowell: The Employment Equality Act 1998 prohibits discrimination in the area of employment and vocational training on nine grounds including the age ground. At present, section 6(2) of the Act excludes persons under the age of 18 years from the protection given against discrimination on the ground of age, except in regard to access to and participation in courses of vocational training to which the statutory school leaving age applies. As a result, the payment of different rates of remuneration to employees based on whether they are 18 years of age or less, does not constitute discriminatory treatment under the Act.
Proposals to amend the Employment Equality Act 1998 are before the Oireachtas under the Equality Bill 2004. The Bill seeks to amend the Employment Equality Act and the Equal Status Act 2000 to take account of Council Directive 2000/43/EC, Council Directive 2000/78/EC and Directive 2002/78/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council. Section 4 of the Bill provides for an amendment to section 6 of the Employment Equality Act which, on enactment, will extend the protection under the Act on the ground of age, to persons above the maximum age statutorily required for attendance at school. As a result, this will be the threshold for non-discrimination on the ground of age in conditions of employment including rates of pay
Dáil Éireann 584 Written Answers. Employment Equality Act.