A constituent has made a complaint about a serving TD's performance to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC).
A motion is to be put before the Dáil this week that the State will defend the member of the Oireachtas. It states that "proceedings arise solely out of the performance by the member concerned of the parliamentary functions as a member of Dáil Eireann".
It is understood the basis of the complaint is that a constituent who had asked the representative for assistance on an issue regarding disability services was not satisfied with the TD's performance and has launched action under the Equal Status Acts in the WRC.
Discrimination outside the workplace is covered by the act. If an individual is trying to get goods or services and feels discriminated against unlawfully, on any of the nine prohibited grounds, they can make a claim under these acts.
The legislation covers many different goods and services including access to a place, facilities for banking, entertainment, cultural activities or transport, professional or trade services, health services, access to education and accommodation.
The Houses of the Oireachtas Commission, the governing body which oversees the delivery of services to the Houses of the Oireachtas, held a meeting on the motion today. Members do not expect this to be the only case of its kind taken.
“We’re going to see more of it,” a commission member said.
TDs can no longer be granted automatic anonymity in such cases and it is understood this individual will have to battle to keep their name from being revealed.
In order for the State to represent the TD in the WRC, a motion must be passed by the Dáil. The TD involved has requested anonymity due to concerns over their reputation.