Ms. Valerie Glennon(Represented by SIPTU) vs Dublin Bus
1.1 The dispute concerns a claim by SIPTU, on behalf of Ms. Valerie Glennon, that she has been discriminated against by the respondent in terms of Sections 6(1) and 6(2)(a) of the Employment Equality Act, 1998, and in contravention of Section 8 of that Act having regard to remuneration, training and conditions of employment.
2.1 The complainant commenced employment with the respondent organisation in 1986 at grade of YO2 in the Clontarf garage. In late 1999 a Productivity Agreement was reached between the respondent and the Unions representing staff to amalgamate the grades of YO1 and YO2. The complainant is alleging that she has been discriminated against by the respondent on the gender ground in relation to remuneration insofar as she did not receive the personal allowance which was paid to staff in the YO1 grade who were male. She also alleges that she was not given training in the YO1 duties prior to the implementation of the Agreement whereas only male staff members in the Clontarf garage were given this training. The complainant further alleges that she was discriminated against by the respondent on the grounds of age when a female colleague in another garage was allowed to continue working at cleaning duties whereas in the Clontarf garage an outside cleaning company was employed to carry out the cleaning duties originally undertaken by the complainant and the complainant had to undertake the other duties in the garage including duties traditionally carried out by YO1 employees. The respondent denies that it has discriminated against the complainant as alleged.
2.2 Consequently the complainant referred a complaint to the Director of Equality Investigations on 20th May, 2003 under the Employment Equality Act, 1998. In accordance with her powers under Section 75 of that Act the Director then delegated the case to Gerardine Coyle, Equality Officer on 26th January, 2004 for investigation, hearing and decision and for the exercise of other relevant functions of the Director under Part VII of the Act. A preliminary hearing of this claim took place on 18th March, 2004. Following receipt of submissions from both parties a joint hearing took place on 3rd November, 2004. Further information was received from the respondent on 3rd December, 2004.
3. CONCLUSIONS OF THE EQUALITY OFFICER
3.1 The issue for decision in this claim is whether or not the complainant was discriminated against by the respondent in terms of Sections 6 and 8 of the Employment Equality Act, 1998. In making my decision in this claim I have taken into account all of the submissions, both written and oral, made to me by the parties. The submissions received from the parties dealt substantially with the issue of remuneration and as this has been addressed in a separate decision2 I did not consider it necessary to reproduce the detail of those submissions in this decision.
3.2 At the hearing of this claim the complainant confirmed that she had three allegations of discrimination in terms of Section 6 of the Employment Equality Act, 1998. These related to:
(b) Training on the grounds of gender
(c) Conditions of Employment on the grounds of age
In relation to remuneration the complainant has referred a separate claim for equal pay under the 1998 Act and this matter has been dealt with in detail in my decision3 in that aspect of her claim.
3.3 Section 77(5) of the Employment Equality Act, 1998 provides that
"...a claim for redress in respect of discrimination or victimisation may not be referred under this section after the end of the period of 6 months from the date of the occurrence or, as the case may require, the most recent occurrence of the act of discrimination or
victimisation to which the case relates".
The complainant alleges that she did not receive training in YO1 duties prior to the 2000 Agreement taking effect. It is the complainant's contention that this training was only provided to male staff in the Clontarf garage. The complainant referred this complaint on 20th May, 2003 which is outside the six months time limit required for the referral of complaints of discriminatory treatment under the 1998 Act. As the referral of this aspect of the claim is outside the prescribed time limits set out in the Act, I have no jurisdiction to
investigate this aspect of the complaint.
3.4 At the hearing the complainant confirmed that her complaint of discriminatory treatment in relation to her colleague Ms. James was on the grounds of age. The complainant was based in the Clontarf garage while Ms. James was based in the Summerhill garage. In accordance with the 2000 Agreement staff numbers in the garages had to decrease and when numbers were at the agreed level a cleaning company would be contracted to undertake the cleaning duties previously undertaken by staff members (the complainant in the case of the Clontarf garage). The Clontarf garage was the first to reach its agreed staffing level and a cleaning company was brought in to undertake the cleaning which had previously been done by the complainant. As a result the complainant was moved to other garage duties including duties previously deemed to be YO1 duties. The complainant notes that her colleague in the Summerhill garage still continues to perform cleaning duties whereas she is required to perform duties other than cleaning. It is the complainant's contention that the reason for the different treatment is related to her age. The complainant is 40 next year while Ms. James is 62 years of age. The difference in treatment commenced when the complainant was moved from cleaning duties in November, 2000. As already stated the complainant is required to refer a complaint within six months of the alleged discrimination. This claim was referred on 20th May, 2003 which is outside the required time limits prescribed under the 1998 Act. In these circumstances I have no jurisdiction to investigate this complaint of alleged discriminatory treatment on the grounds of age.
3.5 Under Section 77(6) of the Employment Equality Act, 1998 provision is made for the application by the complainant to the Director setting out the exceptional circumstances which prevented her from referring her claim within the 6 months specified in Section 77(5) of the 1998 Act. I note that the complainant could not make such an application as she referred her claims of discriminatory treatment on the grounds of gender and age in relation to training and conditions of employment respectively outside this 12 month
4.1 In view of the foregoing I do not have jurisdiction to investigate the alleged acts of discrimination as they have been referred outside the prescribed time limits set out in Sections 77(5) and 77(6) of the Employment Equality Act, 1998. The claim for equal remuneration has been dealt with in a separate decision4.
9th December, 2004
2 Equality Officer Decision - Ms. Glennon v Dublin Bus - DEC-E2004-072
3 Equality Officer Decision - DEC-E2004-072
4 Equality Officer Decision - DEC-E2004-072