Case Number: DEC-S2016-007. Workplace Relations Commission

CourtWorkplace Relations Commission
Date01 February 2016
Docket NumberDEC-S2016-007
PartiesGesio Da Rocha Campos -V- Department of Social Protection
Equal Status Acts DECISION NO: DEC-S2016-007 Gesio Da Rocha Campos (Represented by V Department of Social Protection (Represented by David Dodd B.L. instructed by Chief State Solicitor’s Office) File No. ES/2013/0032 Date of Issue: 1 February 2016

Keywords Equal Status Acts – Discrimination – Gender, Marital Status & Family Status - section 3 (2)

1 Delegation under the Equal Status Acts

1.1 The complainant referred his claim against the Department of Social Protection under the Equal Status Acts on 8 April 2013. On 26 February 2015 in accordance with his powers under section 75 of the Employment Equality Acts, the Director then 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 III of the Equal Status Acts, on which date the investigation under section 25 commenced.

1.2 Written submissions were received from both sides and I proceeded to a hearing on 27 March 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. Complainant’s Submission

2.1 The complainant submits that on 15 January 2013 he was refused child benefit as he was not deemed to be a qualified person.

2.2 On 2 April 2013 the respondent refused to process the complainant’s application for Child Benefit solely because he is a man. He was told that a woman must apply.

2.3 On 2 April 2013 the respondent also refused to pay the mother of the complainant’s children Child Benefit because she has no legal status to reside in Ireland.

2.4 The complainant submits that the refusal to consider his application to be discriminatory.

3. Respondent’s Submission

3.1 The respondent confirms that in January 2013 the complainant was refused Child Benefit. This decision was made in accordance with the provision of Child Benefit which is governed by Part 4 of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005. This Act refers to “a qualified person” for the receipt of Child Benefit. The identification of “a qualified person” is determined in accordance with S.I. No. 142 of 2007, Social Welfare (Consolidated Claims, Payments and Controls) Regulations 2007.

3.2 The complainant appealed the decision and on 1 October 2013 he was informed that his appeal had been allowed in full, and he was “a qualified person”. The Child Benefit Payment was fully backdated to the date of the original application, 11 January 2013. The respondent submits that in these circumstances the claim is now moot.

4. Jurisdictional Issue

4.1 The first matter I have to decide is whether I have jurisdiction to investigate this claim. Section 14 (1) (a) (i) of the Equal Status Acts provides:

“Nothing in this Act...

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