Equality Law in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Equalities

Whilst the equality areas covered are broadly similar in both Great Britain and Northern Irealnd, unlike British legislation, Northern Ireland equality and anti-discrimination law is not consolidated into one single act.

Equality areas are:

  • age;
  • disability;
  • gender/sex (including trans);
  • race;
  • religious belief/political opinion;
  • sexual orientation.

There are several pieces of legislation covering the above equality areas. These are underpinned by  Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, which states that public bodies ensure 'equality of opportunity and good relations are central to policy-making and service delivery' and have 'due regard for the need to promote equality of opportunity between:

  • persons of different religious belief, political opinion, racial group, age, marital status or sexual orientation;
  • men and women generally;
  • persons with a disability and persons without;
  • persons with dependants and persons without.'

Equality legislation

 Gender/sex (including trans)
Religious belief/political opinion
Sexual orientation