Father was not given children’s address

A separated father of two from India was awarded €6,348 — the maximum award under the Equal Status Act — after the Tribunal found a health service provider had failed to furnish him with information, including the address of his children, after he expressed concern that they had been moved to another part of the country by their mother.

The tribunal rejected claims by social workers that they did not know the man was a legal guardian of the children when they insisted he provide proof of his marriage.

It found the man was treated less favourably, on race grounds, than an Irish person would have been treated in similar circumstances.

The tribunal judged that he had been also treated less favourably than a non-separated parent as well as on religious grounds because his marriage in a Hindu temple was questioned.

In another case, the tribunal found the Department of Social Protection’s Community Welfare Service had discriminated against a separated father of two who moved from his home in UK to Ireland to be near his children.

His request for a rent supplement payment for a one-parent family with two children was rejected as his ex-partner received a similar allowance for the same children, despite the fact that they stayed with him on a regular basis.

He was also awarded the maximum payment of €6,348 under the legislation, as he was discriminated against on grounds of gender, civil status, and family status.

The tribunal also ordered the Department of Social Protection to carry out a review of its policies and procedures on rent supplement payments, particularly in relation to how separated and unmarried fathers are treated.

Meanwhile, a FÁS-funded training centre in Sligo has been ordered to pay a former manager a total of €13,000 in compensation.

The Equality Tribunal ruled that the Sligo Community Training Centre discriminated against its former general manager, Clare O’Dowd, on grounds of gender.

Ms O’Dowd had resigned as general manager in April 2011 in order to take up a less demanding position of tutor for one year due to ongoing medical problems suffered by one of her children.

She was unsuccessful in reapplying for the job of general manager when it was advertised seven months later.

She claimed the position was given to another tutor who had taken over the role as general manager in her absence but who did not have a recognised degree specifically identified in the application process.

The tribunal ruled that the selection process fell short on transparency, objectivity, fairness, and good practice.


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