News & Insights: Employment

Sex Discrimination Case Against Northern Ireland Council Settled for £25,000

22 August 2018

The Claimant, Sharon Douglas resigned from her position with Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council in May 2018 alleging sex discrimination and harassment.

Mrs Douglas who worked in the Limavady depot as a yard / storeperson was the only female employed in technical services in the Council’s environmental services department. She alleged that she had been discriminated against in the allocation of overtime and training facilities and claimed she had been told to clean the kitchen and toilets as the “needed a woman’s touch”.

When Mrs Douglas complained about the treatment, she was subject to abusive language. She lodged a formal grievance in respect of the treatment which was subsequently rejected. Mrs Douglas left her position with the Council in May and lodged proceedings in the Industrial Tribunal.

The matter was settled, without admission of liability, in the sum of £25,000 being £10,000 to compensate her for injury to feelings and a further £15,000 in respect of her loss of earnings to the date of the settlement and any future loss of salary incurred by her resignation.

In reaching settlement, the Council agreed to meet with the Equality Commission and review its policies, practices and procedures to ensure compliance. Employers should ensure that they have policies and procedures in place, and that their employees are fully aware of these policies and procedures and the importance of them within the workplace.

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