The Equality Tribunal is an independent body bound to act judicially and was set up to provide a fair, inexpensive and informal means for individuals to seek remedies under equality legislation where the individual believes that they have been discriminated against either in the course of their employment or where they believe they have been discriminated against in the recruitment and selection process. Claims in the Equality Tribunal are heard by one Chairperson who will issue an outcome and the Chairperson is prohibited from having a personal interest in the case. Hearings are generally open to the public and proceedings may be reported in the media. The Tribunal, however, does seek to have matters resolved by way of mediation as an initial stage where possible and matters only proceed to an actual hearing should one or both parties object to mediation.

The Equality Tribunal hears claims under the Employment Equality Acts 1998-2004, Equal Status Act, 2000-2004, and the Pensions Act, 1990.