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Security guard at direct provision centre awarded €6,500 for race discrimination

Laimonas Maciukas was unsuccessful in reapplying for his job.

Image: Shutterstock/mertcan

A SECURITY GUARD who was working at Athlone direct provision centre has been awarded €6,500 by the Equality Tribunal on the grounds of racial discrimination.

The dispute concerns a complaint by Laimonas Maciukas, who is Lithuanian, against G45 Security Solutions that he was discriminated against regarding access to employment on the grounds of race contrary to Employment Equality Acts 1998-2011.

Maciukas submits that he was employed as a security guard at Athlone direct provision centre by Bridgestock Ltd for seven years.

Security company 

In May 2012, G4S Secure Solutions was taking over the security contracts and he and the other employees were invited to apply to the new company for their old jobs. He applied, however, he was not successful.

He submits that all other employees that applied with the exception of his brother Mamertas were reemployed. Maciukas submits that this was a transfer of undertakings and he should not have had to apply for his job. Irrespective of this point, he submits it is discriminatory on the ground of race that he was not reemployed.

He said that he had a security licence, keeps himself very fit, is a Judo Champion, and is very disappointed to have lost his job in this way.

He said some of the Irish people kept on had disciplinary issues and still they were retained. In contrast, Maciukas states that he and his brother had outstanding work records.

G45 Security Solutions stated that it is a licensed security provider of static guarding services to customers nationwide and employs 2000 security guards. At the time of the ward of the contract for Athlone accommodation centre G4S said that they were advised that a transfer of undertakings did not apply.

Athlone 

The company submitted that the reason that neither of the Maciukas brothers were reemployed was because their client, Athlone accommodation centre, specifically requested that the Maciukas brothers not be retained. It submitted that those reemployed were both Irish and non-Irish nationals.

The company said that it has an equality policy and is well aware of its obligations regarding the Employment Equality Acts.

The Equality Officer said that she found the company “to be very vague about the reasons Athlone Accommodation Centre did not want the Maciukas brothers retained”.

First of all, both had been employees for seven and then years respectively before the transfer took place – I find it surprising that their employment was not terminated during that period if there were performance issues. There was no evidence to back up the assertion that the complainant nor his brother were not retained on their client’s request.

She said that the company did not bring a witness from Athlone Accommodation Centre to corroborate what was said and that neither a line manager who dealt directly with the client was brought to give evidence.

She added that there was no documentary evidence either.

Those retained were six Irish nationals and one Romanian. The Equality Officer said the company “did discriminate against the complainant regarding access to employment on the ground of race” and awarded Maciukas €6,500.

You can read the full findings and decision here.

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