See also ‘Discrimination’ Family status in an employment law context arises as one of the nine grounds of discrimination in Ireland, as outlined in the Employment Equality Acts, 1998-2008. Section 2 of the Employment Equality Act defines family status as having “responsibility:

  • as a parent or as a person in loco parentis in relation to a person who has not attained the age of 18 years, or
  • as a parent or the resident primary carer in relation to a person of or over that age with a disability which is of such a nature as to give rise to the need for care or support on a continuing, regular or frequent basis

Section 2 goes on to define a “primary carer” as “a resident primary carer in relation to a person with a disability if the primary carer resides with the person with the disability.” If an applicant for a position in a company was unsuccessful and that applicant happened to have a child, that applicant may claim that they have been discriminated against on the grounds of family status. If such a claim was taken then the company would be obliged to attend for hearing and explain clearly with justifiable reasons why that applicant was not successful and why the position was awarded to another.