Equality Tribunal Publishes Annual Report
On Thursday 22nd April 2010, The Equality Tribunal published its Annual Report for 2009. The Annual Report shows that the Tribunal received over 900 claims, on a par with the previous year and closed 840 cases during the year, in line with 2008.
The Director of the Equality Tribunal, Ms Melanie Pine, confirmed that the number of cases being brought to the Tribunal was still at very high levels and commented on trends in cases:
"There has been a significant shift in the profile of the Equality Tribunal's work in the last few years. The level of complaints of discrimination in employment equality has surged and now accounts for almost 84% of cases referred to the Equality Tribunal in 2009. All indications are that this trend is set to continue. This increase in cases has put extra demands on our resources. However, our productivity has increased and our service satisfaction levels remain high with 95% of our customers expressing positive satisfaction with our services in a recent customer survey.
"The changing economic circumstances have resulted in a major change in the type of cases coming to us. In the last couple of years, cases about discriminatory dismissal have gone from one third of cases referred under employment equality legislation to as high as three quarters."
Decisions of the Equality Tribunal are legally binding. They may be appealed to the Labour Court (in employment cases) or the Circuit Court (in equal status cases). Mediated agreements are also legally binding. Decisions or agreements which are not implemented can be enforced through the Circuit Court.
Please note that The Equality Tribunal and the Equality Authority are two entirely different and separate bodies. The Equality Tribunal has no connection with the Equality Authority, except that the Authority may bring a complaint or represent a complainant before the Tribunal. Highlights from the report are set out below:
- Over 900 claims were referred to the ET in 2009;
- The ET closed 840 cases, up 12% on the previous year;
- Claims of discrimination in employment on the age ground have more than trebled;
- Race remains the largest ground on which discrimination is alleged;
- Other frequent grounds include disability and gender;
- 33% of cases were upheld;
- The average compensation awarded by the ET was €12,350;
- The highest compensation was €189,000.
The Annual Report is available on the ET website.