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Discrimination at work: reports of ill-treatment soar by 60 per cent

Latest figures show the Equality Authority received over 1,000 more complaints of workplace discrimination last year.

Image: (( κiκe )) via Flickr

THE EQUALITY AUTHORITY received 60 per cent more complaints about workplace discrimination last year than in 2009, new figures show.

The Authority today released its annual report for 2010, which shows a breakdown of all the allegations of discrimination and unequal treatment. Chairperson Angela Kerins said a good record on equality would be key to Ireland’s economic recovery in helping to attract foreign companies. “The country must be able to offer a place where overseas companies are comfortable placing their staff,” she said. “Multinationals need to perceive Irish society as pro-equality and pro-diversity.”

So what are the issues sparking allegations of discrimination? TheJournal.ie has broken down the numbers:

  • 8,345 enquiries dealt with by the Equality Authority in 2010.
  • 60 per cent increase in complaints of employment discrimination – up by 1,109 on the previous year to 2,830.
  • 13 allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace. There were also 52 complaints of bullying, and 26 of unequal pay.
  • 158 complaints of discrimination for gender reasons – the largest number due to a single factor.
  • 2 complaints of discrimination related to the Traveller community – the smallest number due to a single factor.
  • 38 allegations over access policies at a pub or nightclub. There were another 10 over access to shops.
  • 2523 complaints relating to maternity rights – down 30 per cent from 3,632 in 2009.
  • 150 employment cases dealt with by the Authority’s legal section.
  • 1 employment case over the treatment of  a transgender person.
  • 35 staff at the Equality Authority.

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Michael Freeman

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