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Sunday 18 February 2018

'Irish Times' found in breach of equality law

The ‘Irish Times’ was found to be in breach of equality legislation and was ordered to pay the woman, who worked as a sub-editor, €9,000, which included a €2,500 payment for “personal distress and anxiety caused by the discrimination”. Photo: Stock
The ‘Irish Times’ was found to be in breach of equality legislation and was ordered to pay the woman, who worked as a sub-editor, €9,000, which included a €2,500 payment for “personal distress and anxiety caused by the discrimination”. Photo: Stock
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

The 'Irish Times' has been ordered to pay €9,000 to a woman who was paid less when she returned to work after maternity leave, according to reports.

'The Sunday Times' published a story about the dispute which was settled by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC). The 'Irish Times' was found to be in breach of equality legislation and was ordered to pay the woman, who worked as a sub-editor, €9,000, which included a €2,500 payment for "personal distress and anxiety caused by the discrimination".

Before going on maternity leave, the woman was paid €275 per shift and was a grade-2 employee, on a three-month rolling contract.

When she returned, she claimed she was demoted to a grade-1 casual employee and was paid €234 per shift, despite being told that she would remain on the same grade.

The newspaper denied that she had been told that she would return to work on the same grade. In her absence, a male employee was recruited and was "promoted over" her, the woman said. She also claimed that the newspaper was favouring male employees, or women without young children, over those with young families.

She resigned voluntarily after her return from maternity leave as a result of the dispute.

The adjudicating officer in the WRC noted that the woman did not give "lengthy consideration" to resolution suggestions.

A meeting had been held between her, her representative and the company but no resolution was settled on.

During proceedings, the newspaper said that its decision not to renew her original grade was due to "ongoing editorial digital and print reorganisation". It denied discrimination based on gender or family status.

Irish Independent

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