Gender Equality and Equal Treatment Commissioner


The Equality Commissioner is an independent and impartial official, an expert who monitors compliance with the requirements of the Gender Equality Act and the Equal Treatment Act. The Commissioner carries out surveillance in both the public and private sectors.
Any persons who suspect that they have been discriminated against – due to their sex, nationality (ethnic origin), race or skin colour, religion, views, age, disability or sexual orientation – can consult the Equality Commissioner. The Office of the Commissioner can also assist if persons have been treated less favourably due to their being a parent or having family obligations, or because they belong to a trade union.

Brief history

The Commissioner’s institution was created with the Gender Equality Act that came into force May 01, 2004. Until September 01, 2009, the Commissioner’s institution was responsible only for gender equality. The mandate of the Commissioner was broadened with the coming into force of the Equal Treatment Act (01 September 2009). Since then the Commissioner deals with all discrimination grounds listed in the two Acts.

Mandate Type

Combined tribunal-type and promotion-type

Litigation power:

  • Bringing proceedings in own name
  • Formally deciding on complaints (e.g. decision or recommendation addressed to the parties) Not legally binding
  • Commissioner cannot represent clients in front of courts but can participate as advisor of one of the parties.


2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Activities aimed at supporting vulnerable groups ( e.g. through trainings )
Activities aimed at supporting duty bearers such as employers and service providers (e.g. through trainings, guidance material, practical support, etc.)
Communication activities (e.g. awareness raising campaigns)
Recommendations on discrimination issues
Publications and reports
Research projects (including surveys)

Our institution has a mandate to deal with:

  • UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

Other statistics:

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Number of inquiries handled per year (all contact even if not resulting in a formal complaint)288358394403471209332343304308
Number of cases handled per year (case files opened and processed according to your procedures)479032116196209332343304308
Number of media appearances per year (major newspapers/magazines/websites/blogs, TV + radio channels) - does not include social media48715969131254


  • Single headed equality body (led by director or ombudsman/commissioner)

Procedure for nomination and appointment of management and board

The Commissioner is appointed for 5 years by the Minister of Social Affair

Number of staff dealing with equality issues

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019

Grounds and fields of discrimination covered by the equality body

Grounds / Fields Employment Education Housing Social Protection & Healthcare Goods and Services Other
Gender Identity
Race and Ethnic Origin
Sexual Orientation
Religion & Belief

Mandate covers:

  • Public sector
  • Private sector

Operating budget in euros

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019

Operating budget in euros for the parts of the organisation dealing with equality issues (all types of functions)

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019

We are accountable to

  • National Parliament
  • National audit institution (i.e. for financial reporting)