Indirect Discrimination Award of €38,000 Where Part Time Employee Required to Work Full Time
A WRC decision of August 2019 deals with a case where the part time worker was required to move to full time work. It is an instructive case when you want to understand indirect discrimination.
Indirect discrimination is different from direct discrimination and is defined as:
(a) Indirect discrimination occurs where an apparently neutral provision puts persons of a particular gender (being As or Bs) at a particular disadvantage in respect of any matter other than remuneration compared with other employees of their employer.
(b) Where paragraph (a) applies, the employer shall be treated for the purposes of this Act as discriminating against each of the persons referred to (including A or B), unless the provision is objectively justified by a legitimate aim and the means of achieving that aim are appropriate and necessary. (Section 22 of Employment Equality Act, 1998, which was then amended by section 13 of the Equality Act, 2004).
It is noteworthy that discrimination will not occur if the employer can objectively justify (on grounds unrelated to the discriminatory ground) the condition or provision provided that it is in pursuit of a legitimate aim and the means of achieving that aim are appropriate and necessary to achieve a legitimate aim.
Part time to full time work
The Labour Court has previously found that a provision requiring an employee to go to working full time from part time working could be indirectly discriminatory on the grounds of gender.
Read the full blog post here. (Spoiler alert: the employee was awarded €38,000 tax free by the WRC).Kind Regards