Siobhan McGowan of Alastair Purdy & Co successfully defended a a variety of age discrimination claims on behalf of the Galway Clinic against a former employee who asserted that she was entitled to a permanent contract of employment despite attaining the normal retirement age of 65.
Here, the Complainant was employed as an hospital administrator and was subject to a zero hours contract. Upon attaining the normal retirement age of 65, the Complainant was offered a fixed term contract.
At the time, the Complainant voiced a number of concerns regarding the proposed terms and contended that she was entitled to a permanent contract on conditions comparable to younger members of staff. By virtue of the alleged “inferior” terms offered, she rejected the contract and elected to resign from her position.
As a result, the Complainant submitted three complaints against her former employer pursuant to the Employment Equality Acts:
(1) that she was discriminated against on the basis of her age in regards to her conditions of employment
(2) that she was not provided with equal pay by virtue of her age
(3) that she was dismissed for opposing discrimination
(4) that an employment term in her contract was discriminatory
In accordance with the decision, Andrew Heavey, adjudicator, determined that the Complainant failed to adduce evidence that she was discriminated on the grounds of age and as a result her claims were dismissed, with the adjudicator finding:
“It appears to me that the respondent took a proactive approach in October 2018 in relation to the complainant’s circumstances and its efforts to retain the complainant in employment beyond her 65th birthday and to address, in good faith, the other issues that she had raised…it appears to me that the complainant was overly concerned with the words “fixed term” and “permanent””