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Equality Tribunal – For Employees

The Equality Tribunal is an independent body in Ireland set up to investigate or mediate complaints of discrimination in employment and also access to goods and services.

Since this piece is aimed towards the employee we will be focusing on discrimination in employment. Every employee needs to be aware of the Employment Equality Acts 1998 to 2008 which aims to prohibit discrimination at work and also includes promotion, recruitment training and dismissal to name a few.

The Employment Equality Acts states that discrimination occurs when an employee is treated less favourably than another person is, has been or would be treated because of that employee’s gender, race, religion, family status, marital status, age, sexual orientation, disability, member of the travelling community.

You can make an application to the tribunal by simply downloading the relevant form from their website www.equalitytribunal.ie.  You will then have to wait for further correspondence from the tribunal.  Your case will be allocated an equality officer and you will be required to make a written submission outlining the discrimination which you believe occurred.  Your employer will also make a submission defending your claim.  All correspondence from each side will be known by each party.

You will then have the option to engage in mediation with your employer. You do not have to go through the process of mediation.  This process involves trying to come to an agreement without having to bring the case to the tribunal.  Any outcome of this mediation will be legally binding.  However, if you are not happy with the outcome you can request that your case be brought to investigation.

If you do decide to reject the offer of mediation from the Equality Tribunal your case will be brought straight to the Equality Tribunal for investigation.  This hearing will be held in private and members of the public will not be able to attend.  The hearing will take place in front of an Equality Officer who will issue a decision after hearing both parties defence.  This decision will be legally binding and will be made known to the general public.  It may even be available to view online.  As employee the remedies which the Equality Tribunal may make available to you are compensation, an order for equal pay or equal treatment and/or that someone take a specific action.  In most cases the employee seeks compensation.

If you as the employee are not happy with the decision made by the Equality Officer it is not the end of the road.  You can appeal this decision to the Labour Court.

The process of bringing a claim to the Equality Tribunal is a complex one and it is important that it is done correctly right from application.  The best way to ensure this is to be informed of your rights as an employee and to understand the Employment Equality Acts thoroughly.  It is best in discrimination cases that you do seek representation in order to help your case be successful.

Here at Employment Matters we can help you right from application.  We will ensure that you get the best possible outcome and will advise you all the way!!

Call us today on 1890 88 90 90 for a free no obligation consultation if you feel that you would like to find out more about the Equality Tribunal or if you believe you are or have been discriminated against in work.