Labour Court Database
File Number: AEE942
Case Number: DEE944
Section / Act: S21EE
Parties: MIDLAND HEALTH BOARD - and - PSYCHIATRIC NURSES' ASSOCIATION
Appeal by a worker against Equality Officer's Recommendation EE 19/93 concerning a claim by the worker that the Midland Health Board discriminated against him contrary to the provisions of the Employment Equality Act, 1977 by re-rostering him in St. Fintan's hospital on 11th May, 1992.
Division: Ms Owens Mr Keogh Mr Rorke
Text of Document__________________________________________________________________
AEE942 DETERMINATION NO. DEE494
EMPLOYMENT EQUALITY ACT, 1977
MIDLAND HEALTH BOARD
PSYCHIATRIC NURSES' ASSOCIATION
1. Appeal by a worker against Equality Officer's Recommendation
EE 19/93 concerning a claim by the worker that the Midland
Health Board discriminated against him contrary to the
provisions of the Employment Equality Act, 1977 by
re-rostering him in St. Fintan's hospital on 11th May, 1992.
2. 1. The background to this case is set out in the Equality
Officer's Recommendation which is Appendix 1 to this
Determination. The Equality Officer in her
Recommendation, which was issued on 16th December, 1993
"the Midland Health Board did not discriminate
against Mr. Scully in terms of the Act when he was
assigned to male ward 4 on 11th May, 1992 nor when
he was subsequently reassigned to the assessment
ward at 11.30 p.m. on that night."
2. The claimant appealed the recommendation to the Labour
Court on 26th January, 1994 on the following grounds:
" (1) Misleading/false information supplied by the
management side which formed the basis for Ms.
(2) Inaccuracies contained in Ms. Sweeney's
investigation which formed the basis for her
conclusion and recommendations."
The Court heard the appeal on the 20th April,1994. The
written submissions to the Court are attached as
Appendices 2 and 3.
The appeal of Equality Officer Recommendation E.E.19/1993 is made
in accordance with Section 21 of the Employment Equality Act,
The grounds for the appeal by the Psychiatric Nurses' Association
(i) Misleading/false information supplied by the Management
of the Midland Health Board which formed the basis of
(ii) Inaccuracies which formed the basis for conclusions and
The Court has considered the content of the written submissions
from both sides. Additionally verbal argument was made to
supplement the points made in the respective presentations
together with an opportunity to rebut the arguments made by either
It would be the view of the Court that some of the arguments made
by the P.N.A. were clearly industrial relations based and it could
not accept that they would form part of an appeal under the
Employment Equality Act, 1977. The Court can only consider in
this case matters referred to and recommended on by an Equality
Officer under the Equality Act, 1977 and subsequently appealed to
the Labour Court for a decision.
In relation to the points of appeal the Court accepts that the
information regarding the initial rostering was misleading but has
concluded that even if the information given by management was
accurate that it would not have altered or influenced the Equality
Officer in the conclusion set out in the Recommendation E.E.
Furthermore the Court does not believe that "inaccuracies", where
they might have occurred, caused the Equality Officer to misdirect
herself in reaching the Recommendation as set out.
In relation to the argument that 30 Registered Psychiatric Nurses
(temporary female) were available to be called in for this duty,
the Court rejects the argument that the Board's motive was
discriminatory because the claimant was male.
The Court accepts that the Board acted only in the patients'
interest and selected, in their view, the most suitable nurse for
that duty. In this case the most suitable nurse was the claimant,
a male. The evidence submitted supports the Equality Officer's
findings that in similar circumstances female nurses have been
reassigned on the basis of the exigencies of the service and of
the patients' needs.
The Court is satisfied that the claimant was not discriminated
against under Section 2 of the Act and accordingly rejects the
appeal and upholds the Equality Officer's Recommendation.
The Court so decides.
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
July, 1994 __________________
P.O'C./M.M. Evelyn Owens
Enquiries concerning this Determination should be addressed to Mr.
Paul O'Connor, Court Secretary.