Case Number: DEC-E2016-044. Workplace Relations Commission

CourtWorkplace Relations Commission
Date10 March 2016
Docket NumberDEC-E2016-044
PartiesAn Applicant for Employment -v- A Youth Organisation
EMPLOYMENT EQUALITY ACTS DECISION NO. DEC-E2016-044 PARTIES An Applicant for Employment AND A Youth Organisation (Represented by IBEC) File Reference: EE/2013/512 Date of Issue: 10th March 2016 1. DISPUTE

1.1 This dispute concerns a claim by the Complainant that he was discriminated against by the Respondent on the grounds of disability contrary to Section 6(2)(g) and Section 8(1)(a) of the Employment Equality Acts (hereinafter also referred to as ‘the Acts’) in relation to his non-selection for interview/employment.

1.2 The Complainant referred a complaint under the Acts to the Director of the Equality Tribunal on 1st October 2013. On 2nd September 2015, in accordance with his powers under Section 75 of the Acts, the Director delegated the case to me, Aideen Collard, an Adjudication/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 had been sought and received from the Parties. As required by Section 79(1) of the Acts and as part of my investigation, I proceeded to hearing on 9th September 2015. The Complainant represented himself and IBEC represented the Respondent. The Respondent’s CEO and a number of witnesses attended to give evidence on its behalf. All written and oral evidence and submissions presented including documentation submitted before and during the hearing have been taken into consideration when coming to this decision. I also indicated that I would be relying upon the key statutory provisions and relevant case law in my consideration of this matter.

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


2.1 The Complainant was born with one hand and there is no issue that he has a disability within the meaning of the Acts. His disability has never impeded him in life and he has an impressive record of prior achievements including a First Dan (Black Belt) in Judo. Although personal circumstances have not allowed the Complainant an opportunity to obtain third level qualifications, over the years he has built up an extensive list of other qualifications and skills relevant to the work of the Respondent.

2.2 The Complainant was employed by the Respondent as one of two part-time Group Support Facilitators in one of the Provinces from 2008-2011. In 2010, the Respondent’s Board of Management decided to merge these two roles into one full-time position. In 2010, the Complainant applied for and was interviewed for the new position of full-time Group Support Facilitator for the same region along with the other part-time holder. His disability had never hindered him in undertaking this role although he submitted that he was the brunt of occasional jokes. He had an excellent work record and believed that he was the most suitable of the two candidates for the position in question, and so felt it very unfair when he was not selected. When his existing contract came to an end in 2011, he continued to work for the Respondent in a voluntary capacity. He submitted that in or around the same time, an employee of a different race had also been made redundant as indicative of the Respondent’s discriminatory attitude.

2.3 In 2012, two paid full-time positions with the Respondent became available in one of the Provinces for a Group Support Facilitator and a Provisional Support Officer. Although the job description stated that applicants from a particular region were preferred, the Complainant who lived in a different region had indicated his willingness to move. He applied for both positions but received a letter dated 20th September 2012 from the Respondent’s CEO confirming that he had not been short-listed for interview in respect of either position stating: “I regret to inform you that you have not been shortlisted for interview for the above vacancy, as other candidates more closely matched the skills and experience we were seeking for the appointment.” By emails dated 9th October 2012 and 25th October 2012, the...

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