Case Number: DEC-E2016-032. Workplace Relations Commission

CourtWorkplace Relations Commission
Date22 February 2016
Docket NumberDEC-E2016-032
PartiesMargaret Stafford -V- Ferns Diocesan Youth Service
EMPLOYMENT EQUALITY ACTS DECISION NO. DEC-E2016-032 PARTIES Margaret Stafford AND Ferns Diocesan Youth Service (represented by IBEC) File reference: EE/2012/513 Date of issue: 22 February 2016

HEADNOTES: Employment Equality Acts - Sections 6 & 8 – Traveller Community – Access to Employment – Promotion – Victimisation - Discriminatory Dismissal – jurisdiction under section 101


1.1. This dispute concerns a claim by Ms Margaret Stafford that she was discriminated against by Ferns Diocesan Youth Service on the grounds of membership of the Traveller Community contrary to section 6 of the Employment Equality Acts in terms access to employment, promotion and discriminatory dismissal in accordance with section 8 of the Acts and that she was victimised in accordance with section 74 (2) of the Employment Equality Acts.

1.2. The complainant referred her claim to the Director of the Equality Tribunal on 28 September 2012 under the Employment Equality Acts. On 12 March 2015, 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 22 April 2015 and final information was received on 3 July 2015.

1.3. This decision is issued by me following the establishment of the Workplace Relations Commission on 1 October 2015, as an Adjudication Officer who was an Equality Officer prior to 1 October 2015, in accordance with section 83 (3) of the Workplace Relations Act 2015.


2.1. The complainant started working for the respondent in June 2008 as a Youth Information Assistant on a Community Employment Scheme. She submits that she is well qualified as she holds a degree in Applied Social Care. A colleague was promoted but she thought nothing of it at the time, assuming the colleague was better qualified and more experienced.

2.2. She was on the Community Employment Scheme for 3 years, working 20 hours per week. When this finished she was offered 7 hours per week, which she accepted.

2.3. Subsequently a vacancy for 20 hours per week became available and these hours were divided evenly between the complainant and a colleague who started working for the respondent after her. This meant she would have been working a total of 17.5 hours.

2.4. The complainant submits she should have been offered all 20 hours as she was...

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