Case Number: DEC-E2012-003- Full Case Report. Equality Tribunal

CourtEquality Tribunal
Date09 January 2012
Docket NumberDEC-E2012-003- Full Case Report
(Represented by Colm Hennessy B.L. instructed by Able Solicitors)
AND The Sunway Travel Group
(Represented by Aaron Shearer B.L. instructed by Anne Dolan & Co.)
File reference: EE/2009/313
Date of issue: 9 January 2012

HEADNOTES: Employment Equality Acts Sections 6 & 8 - Gender & Family Status - Discriminatory Dismissal


1.1. This dispute concerns a claim by Ms Marina Brady that she was discriminated against by The Sunway Travel Group on the grounds of gender and family status contrary to section 6 of the Employment Equality Acts in terms of access to employment and discriminatory dismissal in accordance with section 8 of the Acts and victimisatory dismissal in terms of section 74 (2) of the Acts.

The complainant referred her claim to the Director of the Equality Tribunal on 13 May 2009 under the Acts. On 22 September 2011, in accordance with his powers under section 75 of the Acts, the Director delegated the case to me, Hugh Lonsdale, an Equality Officer, for investigation, hearing and decision and for the exercise of other relevant functions of the Director under Part VII of the Acts, on which date my investigation commenced. Submissions were received from both sides. In accordance with Section 79(1) of the Acts and as part of my investigation I proceeded to a hearing on 11 November 2011 and final information was received on 8 December 2011.


2.1. The complainant started work for the respondent on 15 April 2008 and went on maternity leave on 22 September 2008. She was due back at work after her maternity leave on 27 April 2009.

The complainant submits that no due consideration was given by the respondent in organising her return to work date. She sent an email to the Chief Operating Officer (COO) on 3 February 2009 about her return. She asked for consideration to allow her to return on a four day week. A few days later the COO rang her and confirmed that she was returning to work and he would have to speak to her Branch Manager about the four day week request. She subsequently contacted the acting HR Manager about her annual leave accrual.

The complainant submits that on 4 March 2009 she sent another email to the COO confirming that she was going to take her full maternity leave and would be returning to work at the end of April 2009. She had another general phone call with the COO after this email in which there was no mention of the respondent's trading difficulties or any impending redundancies. Also, there was no response about her request to return on a four day week.

On 27 March 2009 the complainant sent a further email to the COO asking about her request to return on a 4 day week and confirming that she was going to take some leave at the end of her maternity leave and would be returning to work in May. On 8 April 2009 she sent a further email to the COO saying that she using her accrued leave and would be returning to work on 2 June 2009 and she again asked about her request to return on a four day week. On 17 April 2009 she received an email from the COO asking her to...

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