SECTION 83, EMPLOYMENT EQUALITY ACT, 1998
A DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
(REPRESENTED BY AN POST SOLICITORS OFFICE)
- AND -
(REPRESENTED BY KILLILEA REYNOLDS & WHELAN SOLICITORS)
Chairman: Mr Duffy
Employer Member: Mr Carberry
Worker Member: Mr O'Neill
1. Appeal under Section 83 of the Employment Equality Act, 1998 DEC-E2004-012.
2. The Company appealed its case to the Labour Court on the 7th April, 2004. A Labour Court hearing took place on the 19th of October, 2004. The following is the Court's determination:
This is an appeal by the respondent in the original proceedings against so much of the Equality Officer's decision as required it to arrange training seminars for all staff (within six months) to brief them on the provisions of the Employment Equality Act, 1998. The complainant in the original proceedings did not contest the appeal and did not participate in the hearing before the Court.
In the proceedings before the Equality Officer, it was held that the complainant had been discriminated against on the disability ground. He was awarded compensation in the amount of €4,000. The Equality Officer went on to make a further order in the terms now impugned.
The respondent told the Court that it currently has arrangements in place by which information concerning the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees under the Employment Equality Acts, 1998, and 2004 is disseminated (details of which was provided to the Court). The Court was further advised that the cost of providing the training ordered by the Equality Officer would be €153,600. It was pointed out that the respondent is already incurring serious financial losses, and the costs involved would constitute a disproportionate burden on the respondent.
Having considered the submissions of Council for the respondent, the Court is satisfied that adequate arrangements are already in place within the employment whereby management and staff of the respondent are aware of their rights and responsibilities under equality legislation. In these circumstances, and having regard to the costs involved, the Court is satisfied that the training requirement ordered by the Equality Officer would place an unnecessary and disproportionate burden on the respondent. Accordingly, the Court is satisfied that the respondent is entitled to succeed in its appeal.
It is the determination of the Court that the decision of the Equality Officer be amended by the deletion of all words contained at paragraph 6.3(ii) therein, which reads as follows:
"(ii) arrange training seminars for all staff (within six months) to brief them on the provisions of the Employment Equality Act 1998".
Signed on behalf of the Labour Court
15th November, 2004______________________
Enquiries concerning this Determination should be addressed to Ciaran O'Neill, Court Secretary.