Case Number: ADJ-00027228. Workplace Relations Commission

Court:Workplace Relations Commission
Docket Number:ADJ-00027228
Procedure:

In accordance with Section 41 of the Workplace Relations Act, 2015 and/or Section 79 of the Employment Equality Acts, 1998 - 2015, following the referral of the complaints to me by the Director General, I inquired into the complaints and gave the parties an opportunity to be heard by me and to present to me any evidence relevant to the complaints.

Background:

The complainant is a local authority employee who was recruited in 2018 as an Environmental Awareness Officer.

He says the manner in which a new post in which he was interested was filled was a discriminatory act on the Family Status ground.

It also represented unlawful penalisation for his application for Parental leave.

Summary of Complainant’s Case:

All local authorities were required to recruit a Climate Action Officer in line with the Government's Climate Action Plan.

The respondent sought specific funding to appoint a Climate Officer role and explicitly committed to using that funding increase to appoint additional personnel for climate action.

This was further confirmed in correspondence and in other similar employments a new additional Climate officer role was established and recruited externally.

The complainant applied for Parental leave on November 4th, 2019. There were delays in acceding to it and it was only finally agreed over a month later; it commenced just prior to Christmas 2019.

The complainant had developed a resource plan for his role and all climate change and energy efficiency work for the period of his reduced availability due to parental leave and he submitted it to line management on November 14th.

He made it clear that when a formal climate officer role might be advertised he would consider returning from leave early and applying for it.

In fact, the position was filled without advertising externally or internally or having any competitive process of any kind and an existing staff member was assigned to the post. The complainant has much greater experience than the person appointed and he had effectively fulfilled the de facto role of climate and energy officer with the respondent since his appointment.

The complainant submits that he is substantially better qualified for the position than the person appointed and believes he was discriminated against and not considered for the role because he had taken parental leave.

He submits that his version of events was confirmed in a meeting between a third party and a senior manager.

The respondent has also failed to comply with its own...

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