Saturday 29 April 2017

€45,000 for bank worker in sexism case

Anne-Marie Walsh

A bank worker has been awarded €45,000 after a tribunal found she was a victim of sexism at work.

Mother-of-five Mary Higgins, from Cork, won her case at the Equality Tribunal after her application for a part-time work scheme was turned down by her employer Permanent TSB.

Although the bank rejected her application, it accepted a male colleague's application for a four-day week under the same scheme.

Ms Higgins received no explanation when she asked why her application was turned down.

The tribunal found that the selection process for the scheme was "unfair and lacking in transparency".

Her union, Mandate, said she was delighted with the decision as it had been nearly five years since the claim was referred to the tribunal.

The union initially alleged indirect discrimination but the equality officer in charge of the investigation felt the bank's action constituted direct discrimination.

Bernadette Traynor found the bank decided to reject Ms Higgins's application based on her performance, even though it kept no official record of it.

She also found the decision was based on the type of part-time working arrangements the applicants wanted.

But she said these criteria were only laid down after the applications were received.

Irish Independent

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