Goods and services (Directive 2004/113)

AuthorFrances Meenan
9 Goods and services (Directive 2004/113)230
9.1 General (legal) context
9.1.1 Surveys and reports about the difficulties linked to equal access to and sup ply of
goods and services
There appear to be no gender differences in service-based discrimination regarding public
or private services.231
9.1.2 Specific problems of discrimination in the online environment / digital
market / collaborative economy
There do not appear to be any particular difficulties in respect of the online market or ‘gig
9.1.3 Political and societal debate
There does not appear to be any political or societal debate in respect of equal status in
the provision of goods and services.
9.2 Prohibition of direct and indirect discrimination
The Equal Status Acts 2000 to 2015 provide that there cannot be direct discrimination,
discrimination by association or by imputation, or indirect discrimination based on
gender232 in respect of the access to and supply of goods and services, the disposal of
premises and the provision of accommodation, activities of educational establishments and
activities of registered clubs.
9.3 Material scope
The Equal Status Acts 2000 to 2015 provide that there cannot be discrimination in respect
of the access to and supp ly of goods (any article of movable property) and services (a
service or facility of any nature which is available to the public generally or a section of
the public and includes access to and the use of any place, facilities for banking, insurance,
grants, loans, credit or financing, entertainment, recreation or refreshments, cultural
activities, or transport or travel. There are exceptions in relation to services of an aesthetic,
cosmetic or a similar nature and wher e the services require physical contact between the
service provider and the recipient and also for reasons of authenticity (e.g. d ramatic
performances). There cannot be discrimination in respect of the disposal of real property
or the termination of a tenancy; such provision excludes the disposal of any property by
will or gift. Educational establishments (a pre-school s ervice, primary or post-primary
school, institution of further education or a university or third level or higher institution
whether or not support ed by public funds) shall not discriminate in respect of admission,
access to courses, facilities or benefits or expuls ion or any sanction.233 However, a school
may admit students of one gender only or students of a particular religion (i.e. an
institution for the training of ministers of religion may admit students of one gender or
religious belief (a Roman Catholic seminary, for example)). A registered club234 is a
discriminating club if it has different rules for membership or provides different terms and
230 See e.g. Caracciolo di Torella, E., and McLellan, B., Gender equality and the collaborative economy (2018)
European network of legal experts in gender equality and non-discrimination, available at:
231 McGinnity, F. et al, Who Experiences Discrimination in Ireland? Evidence from the QNHS Equality Modules
(2017) IHREC and ESRI para. 5.3.
232 And also civil status, family status, age, disability, religion, race, sexual orientation and being a Traveller.
233 There are general exemptions in respect of sport.
234 Registration of Clubs Acts 1904 to 1999.

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